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Session: Tri-Pack: Battles of the American Revolution – Guilford, Saratoga, Brandywine:: Eutaw Springs - A close run thing

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:10:47 +0000

by napgeorge This replay concerns the Battle of Eutaw Springs, part of Greene’s Southern Campaign. I am playing the GMT version, part of the Battles of the American Revolution series. I selected Eutaw Springs as my first go at this system for several reasons. It is a small battle with a manageable amount of units, this will enable me to concentrate on executing the game system with what I hope is reasonable fidelity. Also, there does not exist on the game site which I post my After Action Reports to ( ) an AAR with photos and the level of detail I like.The game is well made, the counters separated from their sprues easily which works for me since I am not patient, nor gentle with such things. They are larger than counters were made in the 1970’s, when I came of age in the hobby and also have a nice thickness which makes them feel sturdy. They are colorful and well organized in presentation, the colors contributing to determining unit capabilities and organizational structure and place. The map is mounted, which is nice (and rare) in this day and age. (I purchased the American Revolution Tri-Pack from GMT, which contains Saratoga, Guilford Courthouse and Brandywine, with Eutaw Springs being a bonus game. Makes sense, two mounted mapboards have four sides, no use leaving a side unaccounted for. I also have the Germantown game from this series, yet to be played.)This system does not use a chit pull mechanic, but does have a momentum routine which determines which player goes first each turn. There is also present a tactical subroutine which can effect the die roll modifier when determining combat, but as I am playing solo, I will dispense with that routine. It adds some chrome, but the game should be find without it.My knowledge of this battle is limited. There appears to be a very detailed history in the rule book, which I will read after my first play. I like to try the battle without any preconceived notions and, as I am what I consider pretty well read in military history, it is a pleasure to find a battle I have never studied and replay it fresh. My knowledge of this battle is that the Continentals surprised the British, took their camp, looting started and the British reclaimed the field. It was a loss, as the Continentals did not stay in the field, but then again Greene lost every battle of the southern campaign by the perspective of the times, but won the campaign nonetheless. I am sure he was happier with that outcome than his opponents were.I am playing the historic scenario. Looking at the defense, I will attack where Skinner’s Greens stand in the British line with Greene, as well as using Francis Marion to attack the adjacent unit. The system accounts for morale, rifle fire, musket fire and artillery fire as well as close combat. I am curious to see how fatal closing with the enemy is.Turn 4 (The historical game starts on turn 4) – ContinentalWe close, attacking hexes 1213 and 1313. Lee’s Legion sweeps far to the right, seeking the ford. Our line units close, both the Maryland Line and Kirkwood’s Blue Hens are powerful and will be in action next hour. Both attacks basically bounce, a pin result against Stewart. Greene’s attack suffers from poor die-rolling and modifiers, disrupting the lead unit (NC Militia, but with a low roll, the attack would resulted in a disruption even with a higher morale unit) and then both units fail their morale check, forcing each to retreat one hex, Greene choses to retreat with the cowards, rather than being taken with the guns by the British. Disaster.Turn 4 – BritishBrowne’s Artillery defensive fires at Sheridan’s Rifles, missing on a roll of 2. Sheridan’s Rifles fires and the Virginia Bde, missing. Skinner’s Greens captures Gaines’ exposed battery, they will be supported by a general advance of the line. De Lancey leads an attack defended by Kirkwood’s Delawares, the attack goes in 1:1 at -1, a one is rolled and de Lancey takes a casualty, both accompanying units pass their morale checks.Steward lead[...]

Session: Star Trek: Ascendancy:: 5 Player Beginner Session Timelapse

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:10:34 +0000

by Razbun Video: Planets were 15" apart and 5" from white border. Placement rules allowed systems touching the border but not expanding past it. Total surface area on the narrower side was 3'4". First time for all of us. Took 9 hours total including rules and food. I had read the rules a month back but didn't remember the nuances so pretty much had to re-read 75% of the book. Took 1h20m just for that.Ferengi and Cardassian met early and established trade. They were pretty much allied for the rest of the game. Klingon and Federation met next and also established a tense lasting trade. The federation's plan was to turtle, please, and slowly accumulate culture. The Klingons were itching for a fight so Ferengi was weary of making contact but they never really attacked anyone till the very last round. Romulans made contact last and immediately started conniving and pressuring Federation to break ties with Cardassian in exchange for trade and peace. Since Cardassia was far and Romulus close to them, Federation gave in. Think we got the rule wrong here and Federation broke trade with Cardassia without attacking. What followed was a few rounds of Cardassia and Romulus gearing up for war but never really committing, all the while constantly proclaiming to everyone else how the other was a warmonger, evil, speciest, and an all around bad guy. Ferengi just spread their trade fleets across the galaxy. Had 3-4 per rival (-romulans). Almost last round and everyone caught on that Ferengi would just convert all the production to ascendancy for a surprise win. (we actually ran out of production tokens because of Ferengi and had to get some from another game). At that point Ferengi did a large production investments in fleets and attacked Klingons and made a show of now being pissed and gonna take everyone out the old fashioned way. Cardassians would have a culture victory in 2 rounds so they thought they had the win in the bag and didn't turn on Ferengi. Turns out even with the Fleet investment and loss of trade with both Federation and Klingons, Ferengi still had enough production to just barely squeeze out an Ascendancy victory.ImpressionsGeneral - We had serious downtime when it was not our turn. Obviously partly due to us being beginners and taking longer to do our moves but also because until the end when we were all close to each other it didn't really matter if you were paying close attention to what your rival was doing. Next time we will use a smaller play area to make contact happen quicker.We may look into other house rules to speed up turns. Some suggested not separating build and command phases and allowing a player to switch back and forth on their turn. It would speed up colonization and fleet maneuvers but I'm afraid it would make the game less predictable- it would be harder to keep track of what your rival can roughly achieve on their next turn. Does anyone have any suggestions? Ferengi - Really shine only once you have 2 allies. Definitely have to play nice with the other players. I intended to role play the Grand Nagus the whole game but that would have quickly gotten annoying to other players and they would have been less receptive to letting the franchise fleets penetrate their markets.Klingon - Based on their traits it seemed like they would profit from early to mid game aggressiveness, but that would have made everyone turn against them. Seem to be hardest to play to their strengths.Federation - I think they did a single hegemony the whole game. They didn't want to upset their neighbors. It seems like aggressive hegemony is the way to go and then defend your space.Don't really have a good feel for either Cardassians or Romulans since it didn't seem like they played to their race's strengths. I have a feeling that Romulans should research more and turtle in for culture but I barely had to think about them in our session so I guess I'll figure that out next time. [...]

Session: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe:: AAR: Full campaign, west first

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:10:19 +0000

by Daemou Here's an AAR from a game played last year with a couple of first-timer friends.***So Germany attacked Poland in September 1939. Who could have guessed? The next victim was Denmark. Franco offered to join the cause in late 1939, but Hitler instead allied with Romania.Spring 1940 saw an invasion of Norway and an attack into France via Belgium and the Netherlands. Slowly but steadily the panzers pushed south, until France surrendered in September. Mussolini joined the party and a battle for Africa started between Italy and the Commonwealth, made more even by the German army that was sent to help in the desert. The submarine war was badly starving the Brits and they were in danger of losing Egypt. Their counterplan was to send their Home Fleet to help an invasion of Benghazi to cut supply to the Italian fortress of Tobruk. Suddenly the Axis situation was looking grim.But Hitler saw this as an opportunity as he glanced at the Home Fleet and BEF in Benghazi. In May 1941 the weather was good, and the German ships took to sea:The BEF and the home fleet were quickly sent back, but it was too late. After a couple of months the situation looked like this:The collapse at home also broke the will of the defenders of Egypt, and the Mediterranean became an Italian lake very quickly. After a while the Brits pulled their ranks back together and landed in Iraq, where Hitler was aiming to solve his oil problems once and for all. The Brits also managed to defend Northern Ireland and started to build a presence in Belfast.Meanwhile, Germany commenced operation Barbarossa in summer 1941 together with their allies, the Hungarians, the Romanians, the Finns, and the Swedes. Unfortunately for the Germans, some of their resources were tied elsewhere and they failed in their objective of reaching Moscow before winter. The winter weather halted the assaults near Kharkov and Smolensk. A Soviet counterattack into Finland threatened to split the country in two near Oulu.Summer 1942 brought little change to the situation. The Brits were slowly rebuilding, USA joined the war, and the Germans took Leningrad but not much else. Germany sent help to Finland, which stopped the Soviet advance, but late in the year the Brits had enough ships and planes to start taking back their country together with the Americans. Germany could not supply both Finland and Britain and ended up losing both by the end of the year. This resulted in a peculiar inverse situation where the Germans in Leningrad were attacking the Soviets in Vyborg.The eastern front at the beginning of year 1943:With US help, the middle eastern front slowly progressed west and reached Egypt in early 1943. The Allies managed to surprise the Axis forces by invading an empty Tobruk, which together with other ports and the huge Allied fleet left the Axis armies in Egypt out of supply. By the end of the summer Axis had been driven out of Africa. Almost without stopping the Allies showed what they had been preparing: A dual invasion of Brindisi and Trieste caused the Italian government to collapse. Since the Germans were nowhere around, the Allies marched north almost unopposed until they were stopped near Bologna.Also in Russia, the balance of power was already tilted towards the Soviet side by summer 1943, but Hitler would not acknowledge this: a major offensive took back Kharkov. It turned out this was overly ambitious, as soon most of the whole Army group south was wiped out or surrounded by a Soviet counterattack led by their new Guard tanks. The Axis had to send ill-equipped Romanians to plug the front, which was not enough: The Romanians were pushed into their home country by the end of the summer 1943. At least the northern front stayed where it was and its flank was protected by the Pripet marshes.By spring 1944 the Western allies had reached the Alps and the Soviets took back rest of Ukraine. The German economy had started to suffer badly, as the bombers flew their missions both from England and Italy.When Summer 1944 arrived, thi[...]

Session: Gloomhaven:: Chronicles of Gloomhaven, part 6: Into the Coppernecks. (Spoilers for scenario 14)

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:10:15 +0000

by Geoboffin Chronicles of Gloomhaven, part 6: Into the CoppernecksPreviously on Chronicles of Gloomhaven:S1E1: Into the BarrowS1E2: Solving your problems with brains and a flamethrowerS1E3: Poor as a church ratS1E4: Unlikely FriendsS1E5: Rocky Road to a Cryptic ConclusionGreetings! It has been a while since we drank together and I told you of my exploits. As you can see, since then I have gained mightily - witness my rugged armour and shining blade. You! Crystal woman in the corner! I have not seen you in this tavern before: perhaps the stories of my adventures have not yet reached you. I am VICTOR, strongest of the strong, looter of the Arcane Temple and slayer of its evil guardian.I hear that my companions have been speaking to you of how I led them to glory against the evil Gloom cultists. Of course they told the stories badly, focusing only on their own endeavours and caring little for the mighty warrior that is VICTOR. But such are the ways of petty-minded folk. Listen on and I will tell you of how we travelled to a cave high in the Copperneck Mountains and I slew the frost demons inside.Craggy spoke of the the dark rift we found in the place they call the Ruinous Crypt, and he decided we should find a way to close it. We agreed to meet an enchanter in an alehouse, but when we arrived the inn was but a ruin. Hah! VICTOR does not care for such a trick. I left the savvas and the vermling to deal with the brain-work.When they were done, I, VICTOR, set out with Thanatos and Craggy, leaving Delice behind once more. We followed the Still River upstream and, once in the foothills, turned north. We soon found our way blocked by a mass of fallen boulders. I could, of course, have moved them all myself, but why do so when the rock man was with us? I set him to work and after much complaining he made a path for us. As we climbed into the mountains the temperature grew cold and soon the vermling was shivering despite her fur. I soon found the entrance to the cave, we readied ourselves and I led the way in.The passageway inside was chill with frost, and twisted and turned ahead into the darkness. Ice-covered pillars grew from the floor. But enough description! for ahead of us was a pack of wolves! I immediately adopted my battle stance, daring the four beasts to throw themselves on my blade, and they foolishly did so, biting and clawing as I attacked. Craggy hid in the rear and threw rocks while Thanatos fought next to me and jabbed a dagger into the ribs of a wolf. Hah! How odd it should be that a ratling stands on the front line like a man, while a savvas cowers like a milkmaid.We outnumbered the wolves three to four, so their growls soon ceased and I rushed around the first corner, spying two evil spirits and slaying the nearest with a single blow. Thus pass all who dare interfere with the might of VICTOR! The other melted and reformed around my blades but the vermling scurried to my side and planted a dagger into where its guts should surely be. It disappeared in a writhing mass of smoke. The savvas rumbled up beside us and stood there panting. I waited until he appeared fit to continue then, sword at the ready, leapt through a narrow cleft in the wall ahead of us.The way ahead was blocked by icy stalagmites. But as I watched, the pillars took the form of frost demons and moved towards me. I readied my defences, and though three demons attacked me I, VICTOR, shrugged off the blows as if they were little more than the brushes of falling snowflakes. In retaliation my blade scored rents in their icy bodies. Once again Thanatos (brave vermling!) supported me and her daggers sliced three of the demons into slush. Meanwhile I smote the largest of the demons so hard that as it staggered from my blow even Craggy was able to kill it.After more twists in the passageway another crevice in the wall opened up before us. By now the other two knew enough to hang back and let me slay whatever was inside. Once again I leapt into battle - but what a sight a[...]

Session: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #2:: S10 - Paper Army or Paper Airplane?

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:23:05 +0000

by Fly by Night Wanting to get another Infantry only game in before moving on to Guns, I set up S10 Paper Army from SK2. Looked a little different than previous fare, with a chase and running battle between the Minors, Italians being chased by the Greeks.All forces enter on the East side of the map. The Italians have to make it across almost the entire length, exiting at least 10VP worth of Squads/Leaders. This looks almost too easy, but the Greeks have a mid game chance of entering 3 Squads and Leader anywhere on the South or North side.The end of the Italian first turn. Opted not to move those Italians further into the Wheat fields, leaving them behind as speed-bumps (and the Glory of El Duce!) with lines of fire on all the entry points the Greeks would be coming in at (except the trees at A7, which will slow the Greeks down even more if they come in that way) Good Plan?Greeks first move onto the board results in Death! FFMO/FFNAM can be a killer, no pun intended.Italians manage to break another Greek Squad with a long range shot, but they Break their LMG in the process.The Greeks respond by pinning down the Italian Squad with the now broken LMG.(Quick rules question? A 1st line Italian squad that is CX’d uses the 4 Column and rolls doubles (2’s). You then use the 2 Column, but since they were CX’d, no Residual fire is placed, correct?Turn 2Italians manage to repair their LMG but not their MMG, which was broken before the Scenario starts. A large portion of the Italians are now halfway across the map. Greek half of Turn 3The Greeks roll and get their Reinforcements, and with 12 VPs worth of Italians in the NW sector, the Greeks are set to come in behind the tree-line.Prep-fire ELR’s one Italian ½ Squad and eliminates 2 more (previously broken) ½ Squads and their Broken Leader. The Italians also lose another ½ Squad for Failure to Route.Turn 4Italians make it to the tree line and prepare for a Dash across to the exit.The Greeks break one of their LMG’s.Turn 5The Italians get 3VP of the Map after they pinned the Greek Squad able to stop them. That Greek squad unfortunately Cowered off the IFT chart.Turn 6Wouldn’t you know it! The Italians finally manage to fix their MMG! I had a question here in regards to that DM’d Italian Squad that was adjacent to the exit row. I wasn’t sure if it could Route to the closest building, which is off the map, thus gaining the VP. I now know that that is not possible.I then proceeded to try and move all the Italian units that had a chance to exit off the board for the win, but 2 of the Squads and a Leader got pinned with Greek First Fire and that left only 6 VP’s worth exited by the end of the Italian turn. Greeks win.Dead PileNot exactly sure what to say about this Scenario. On one hand, it was cool to play the Minors finally, since SK1 is all about the Germans, Russians and Americans. Discovered how Brittle the Italians are. The Scenario ended up being more about a footrace than anything else. With the Greeks being able to come in anywhere on the North or South edge of the map mid game (most likely), I’m not seeing the Italians have much of a chance, albeit close, which I guess is good. Just wasn’t as “thrilling” as my previous plays. Still a good exercise in Learning CX usage, Breaking low Morale units and ELR rules however. So every bit of Learning (or rules reafirmation) in this game helps, in my opinion.Moving on to Guns now. WOOHOO! [...]

Session: Quartermaster General: 1914:: We discover the power of the German Aid in the East card

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:07:56 +0000

by Norbert Chan I was Austria Hungary, Ken was Russia, Trevor was Germany, Jean was France and Don was UK. I build in Tyrol, Ken plays Russia Mobilizes to building in Petrograd and Poland. Trevor plays Hindenburg Line which lets him build in Belgium. Jean plays 17th plan, while building in Picardy. Don plays Grand Fleet, building a fleet in the English Channel. On turn 2, I build in the Italian Alps (which forces Jean to draft a build Italian army and build in Rome). Ken builds in Prussia. Trevor plays an economic warfare card forcing Don to discard 5 cards. Don builds in Paris, since it is obvious he has Commonwealth Support in his hand. Trevor does another economic warfare before the scoring round, and the score is tied 10-10.It is about here that Trevor puts down the German Status card German Aid in the East. Germany hasn’t really been put under stress. On the other hand, Russia is expanding towards the Ottoman Empire, and Jean builds an Italian Fleet in the Eastern Med to put pressure on Istanbul. I lose the Italian Alps from sustained pressure from Don and Jean. But Trevor’s defence cards not required in Germany allow me to hold firm in Anatolia from the Russian attack.The score is still tied 20-20 in the second scoring round. As I am under attack, my deck is getting quite thin. I fire off my attrition cards at Russia, and Ken does Peace Land and Bread early to get away from the attrition, and score 5 VPs.The third scoring round it is Central 32, Entente 30. Don gets the Girl with the Yellow hands, and it is all I can do is to hold on, as I am repeatedly attacked in Tyrol from the Italian Alps. Ken fires off consecutive Austria Hungary attrition cards and I lose 4 VP total since I have no draw deck and not willing to lose anym ore cards. The UK are entrenched in Tyrol, so I alternately land battle them out (using Germany’s sustain battle cards through Aid in the East) and defend in Vienna to hold them off. In the fourth round the Entente take a 1 pt lead, but Trevor starts to occupy the abandoned Russian supply centers. Score is Entente 44, Central 43.Moscow gets occupied. Istanbul now holds, as the Russian fleet previously in the Black Sea was removed from Peace Land and Bread. Don and Jean are trying their best to get at Vienna through Western Germany and Tyrol, but Trevor battles Jean out of Western Germany to remove the threat. The final score is Central 54, Entente 51. Germany was mostly left alone, but with Aid in the East, their cards were in play on offence (in Tyrol and other areas) and for defence in Istanbul, Anatolia and Vienna. That’s what kept Austria Hungary up and scoring most of the game. Game 2. Trevor is Austria Hungary, Jean is Russia, I am Germany, Don is France, and Ken is UK. Trevor builds a fleet in the Adriatic, Jean plays Russia mobilizes to build in Ukraine and Poland, I play Volunteer Movement, allowing me to put down Mustard Gas. Don drafts a build Italian army to build in Rome, while Ken plays Asquith sends Ultimatum, building a fleet in the North Sea.On turn 2, Trevor builds in the Italian Alps. Jean plays an event card that lets him build in Galacia and attack into Vienna successfully. At this point, I decide to draft a build army and build in Vienna, which was a mistake. I wanted Trevor to let him know I had his back, but I should have let him build there himself. I should have gotten my engine going further. Don plays Paris Taxis and builds in Picardy. Ken builds a navy in the North Sea. Trevor recruits in Bulgaria, rather than build back into Vienna. That means Budapest is out of supply and Jean attacks it. I get down Red Baron. Russia has lost 2 cards already in difficult terrain, so the strategy is to pound Russia but will the Central powers lose on autovictory? The first scoring round it is Entente 9, Central 4. I attack Russia 3 or 4 times before the next scoring round, and the Russia deck is down to nothing. But the score [...]

Session: FREAKFACE!!!:: Freakface: First Game Highlights

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:03:36 +0000

by tauontwo

My partner and I played half a dozen games of Psycho Raiders to familiarise ourselves with how these kinds of games work before giving FREAKFACE a go. There are still some things we're not clear on but we just play with what seems most fun. Having played both I'd probably recommend Psycho Raiders if you're playing 2-player and FREAKFACE for a larger group. FREAKFACE just has so many characters that turns could get overwhelming. It also demands a lot more table space. Anyway, our first game highlights:

Lucinda was the first to escape the tent. Unfortunately for them a fog rolled in and they didn't have the movement to get through the fence. Freakface caught up and half-headed Lucinda with the syringe (sounds really painful)!

Randy broke into the tent and came face-to-face with the Four-Headed Freak. They proceeded to blow all four heads away without taking a lick of damage.

Barry narrowly dodged death after being attacked by Lucian riding the Harvester. They broke out, being chased by the motorcycle-riding shotgun-weilding Freakface (so dang cool). Much to my partner's disappointment, Barry was revealed to be sinister just before they could escape along the western fence.

Vaughn. Oh, Vaughn. Vaughn almost escaped off the north side of the map with half a dozen creeps chasing them. A song came over the PA, inspiring the freak horde. This was enough for the Human Rope to grab them and endlessly drag Vaughn back into the tent in a manner only the Human Rope could. At this point my partner conceded that Vaughn was a lost cause (0 strength to HR's 5). We sped up the finale where Vaughn was dragged all the way into the laboratory to become... THE TARANTULA MAN!

Lucinda was killed by Freakface, Barry had a mental breakdown and became evil, Vaughn, inches from freedom, was dragged back into hell. And Randy, seeing no reason to continue escaped off the North side (which fits given their appearance in Psycho Raiders).

This was a blast. The game offers so many opportunities to make awesome decisions, and I wish more of our friends could appreciate FREAKFACE's mature theme.

Session: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?:: WOW! Jihadists beat me in first turn....

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:38:41 +0000

by Trevor Goodchild

So I was very happy with my opening US hand. Lots of US events, sure only three 3ops cards, but great events. Most Jihadist events I had possessed pre-conditions that weren't met and were unlikely to. I was confident of a good opening turn.

The Jihadists kicked off with a bit of safe recruiting of extra cells into Afghanistan. Then moved one cell to Pakistan and two into Central Asia. Nothing too suspicious as yet.

I opened with what I felt would put me in a commanding position for the turn GTMO as an event. No more pesky cells coming off the track.

A jihadist failed plot in Pakistan and then HEU comes out and the jihadists score a WMD plot.

I forge ahead with my plan and play Sistani seizing the opportunity to upgrade Pakistan to Good and follow up with a SEAL team to take out the cell to avoid a catastrophic plot it a Good country.

The jihadist moves cells to Russia and a cell succeeds in travelling from Afghanistan to Libya. These cells then move to Eastern Europe and Italy.
Needless to say I'm getting nervous now about plotting, but I'm faced with a hand of 2ops cards and a single 3. I gun for the cell in Italy disrupting it twice, leaving a cadre he can't recruit from but a cell still lurking within Schengen.

Jihadist fourth phase - the anticipated move to USA comes and then the kicker - KSM! An auto plot in the US!

I do what the only sane thing and play my last 3ops card to Alert and discover a plot3... hmmmm... curious... (image)
Maybe he's saving that WMD for next turn... unless... nah... surely not... I disrupt the cell in the US (which was still sleeper thanks to plotting occurring from an Event). I can finish it off next turn....

Jihadist plays his last card - Martyrdom Operation two auto-plots in the US.

I'm left with a 2ops jihadist event that's play is meaningless in what is about to inevitably happen when the plots are resolved...

Plot3 and WMD in the USA - Jihadist insta-win! (image)

At least it was easy to re-cock for another game!

In hindsight perhaps I should've saved some points in Reserves but I didn't see anything like this coming! Even if I'd had a 3ops card held to the end it would've been a 50/50 gamble to get the WMD!

Anyone else had similar experiences with a solid opening hand only to discover your opponent has an even more crushing one?

Session: Shipwrights of the North Sea:: New Years North Sea Saga

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:34:20 +0000

by soylentgreenismeeple Happy New Years to all! Our group wanted to ring in the New Year with a Viking theme -BERZERKER!- and Shem Phillips North Sea trilogy fit the bill. Although Shem designed The North Sea Runesaga, it currently plays up to 4 and we are a group of problem #1. #2, everyone has played Raiders of the North Sea and loves it, but we had yet to bring Shipwrights or Explorers of the North Sea to the table. At Thanksgiving, we had crash courses of both those games and everyone felt ok about playing a tournament for New Years. #3, how to go about getting 6 players involved in games designed for 4(5 for shipwrights). do we play has 2 player teams? (which we do for Lords of Vegas to great success and fun). however, i just didn’t think it would work well. so we’d all play our own game as 2 3-player games. by New Years, between the 3 couples, we had 1 copy of Shipwrights, 3 copies of Raiders, and 2 copies of Explorers. easy 2 consecutive Shipwrights games, keeping 1st game scores hidden to 2nd game participants because knowing the score would affect how the 2nd group played, and then be able to play 2 Raiders games concurrently followed by 2 concurrent Explorers games, so all 6 of us sitting at the table for the last 2 games. #4, scoring system. (and if people have suggestions, please chime in!) we initially started with a 5,4,3,2,1,0 for high to low score. we modified it a little, which i’ll explain at the end. #5, how to randomly determine players. i had a little fun making these: i found all the possible combination for 6 players to play a 3 player game, wrote names on both sides and labeled A-J. and we’ll track which combos are played for each game and not repeat those combos until we cycle thru all possible permutations. (yeah, we plan on playing these games for a long time to come). #6, not a problem, just fun stuff....what are we playing for...besides just bragging rights? A Viking Horn.....alas, not a drinking horn....but one that calls the Valkyries to the battlefields! the winner gets to hold the horn til the next saga. for individual game winners, we have these: these are finisher medals for Viking Dash Trail Runs (5k,15k & half marathons). we are 5k runners and thought these would be perfect for our Saga. Shipwrights gets the axe, Raiders gets the Sword, and Explorers get the hammer. (just for the weekend, wife & i wanted them back because we earned them the hard way....running!)so i think thats enough background and blah blah blah....on to the gaming.Shipwrights with Townsfolk board. game A: tf, sk & mk. tf(me) has an advantage....i own the game and i’m the i’ve had several solo playthroughs and a couple teaching games to the group...and sk&mk only had 2 partial teaching games....well, it is what it is, and everyone was on board regardless. mk drew 1st blood, getting a ship in the harbor. sk followed next turn. tf played patient and thought it would be my ruin. tf covered a drakkar with a shield in the 1st day and went about collecting resources. mk added buildings which sk and tf had no interest in. days plodded along and i would update players about how scoring worked and who would win if the game ended “now”. they quickly understood scoring and the game ending trigger. at one point we had each built 2 ships, our haltime we joked. mk quickly built his 3rd which effected how tf would build going forward. the military bonus was going to be pivotal. tf had a lucky draw of a ship which i miraculously had the resources and craftsmen to build it. so there was my 3rd. sk built her third & now it felt like a race. throughout, we had played assassins and barbarians and conspirators and we did muck up each others plans a bit, true viking style. tf had planned on that and in earlier [...]

Session: John Prados' Third Reich:: Winter 39 Bosphorus, Brussels and the Caucuses.

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:31:35 +0000

by polate

Winter 1939. The political chit was Strikes in Paris, costing France 15 BRP but she was still rolling in money from America. Dislike of Turkey brought Greece to client with Britain. By the same token, Bulgaria became friendly with the USSR and Britain. At 6 on the diplomacy track thats the highest I've ever had Russia with any minor in 80 odd games. The allies spent heavily on diplomacy but it will take time to give concrete benefits. Spain is as friendly to France as she is to Italy or Germanys. Romania and Sweden are tilting towards the allies, only Hungary favours the axis.

Italy finished off Yugoslavia efficiently. The 5 TAC that had flown over Belgrade stayed in Zara. Maybe he is expecting Russians in Bulgaria.

Turkish ships (including the old battlecruiser Goeben or Yavuz) and planes were swept from the Black Sea and Eastern Med. Turkey can’t swap sides so their demise has no downside. Turkey railed cavalry to Konya. Britain pressed on through the Bosporous, landing near Izmit, thinking about it now, 60 miles south wold have been better as that would control the ferry to Europe. If only my naval chit had come later the Dardanelles would have been cleared already. Izmit and Istanbul were taken by overland march from Izmir. Russia landed at Zonguldak. Cold weather slowed my tanks in Russia but not those manoeuvring through Persia. Cavalry slipped around Turkey’s eastern flank in the Caucuses and reached the Black Sea at Trabizon. 5 Turkish corps were surrounded, they couldn’t break free and had to surrender. 3 Turkish cities remain, Iskenderun, Konya and Ankara so she’ll only get 6BRP in spring.
Iskenderun was wide open to a French advance but they preferred to attack the paratroops near Paris with their only attrition offensive. I regret that decision now, Jon often drops them to sow confusion and destroys them at the end of the turn whilst still in supply to rebuild in Germany the next turn. Turkey should be finished by the end of summer and the Black Sea Fleet is free to enter the med.

France’s armour briefly attacked east of the Rhine. That went well but they pulled back to the Maginot line straight away. 5 panzers attacked Belgium and Luxembourg, the British fell back in the centre whilst the Belgians held firm on the flanks. Reduced paratroops dropped east of Paris. Counterattacks caught 1 panzer out of supply, weakened another, overran the paras and liberated Brussels for the loss of a depleted British armour. 7 panzers dashed across Germany from Poland and destroyed a 2nd British armour. Germany lost the maximum 10 BRP from the iron ore route and 4BRP to ground combat losses leaving nothing for repairs as Belgium hasn't surrendered. 2 Russian infantry sailed to France. They make peace zones as a backstop to the disorganised British line. Germans can’t attack Russian units till the fall though Russia’s allies can’t stack with them.

Thanks to Jon for a good 2nd session.

1st session fall 39

Session: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2:: Delta Force - June - No place will fall! [End of June SPOILERS]

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:27:36 +0000

by FinalAttack The following recount the tales of Delta Force. We aim for survival and optimization. It be a brief overview of our game, focused on big game moments, narrow escapes and strategic discussion.Introducing Delta Force: Odin (Labourer) - O.G. Joey Pink Eye (Instructor) - Played by “Explorer” Morgan.Tethys (Farmer) Played by “sacrificing” Rob.Deadpool (Administrator) - BENCHED :ORipley (Radio Operator) - Played by “Lets try her out” Danny.-------------------Pre-game strategy:Lost Lab in Johannesburg - based on the co-ordinates this is the location of the next lab. It’s in the deck now. Lets search this as a priority.Optimal placement of supply centres - goal, all cities are one step away from a supply centre. Goal cities - Johannasburg and Bagdad. The last one could go ??? somewhere in the middle east OR if asia opens up. However that happens ….------------------June, first attempt:Players: Joey as Odin (Laborer), Morgan as Pink Eye (Instructor), Rob as Tethys (Farmer), Danny as Ripley (Radio Operator)Ration level: 0Objectives: create 3 new supply centers [mandatory], Recon 1 area, Connect two cities, conduct 2 searchesLast game went well. I actually think we’ve tipped a threshold of cities completely safe via inoculation (currently 11). The goal is 18. Not sure how these hollow men will play out though …. Alright boys hold your breath. We’re going in.We were able to address immediate threats on the first turn with Tethys. He fixed two exposed cities on the first turn of the game. AND LUCK HE DID!! Boom! Epidemic and both come up. I don’t know what is up with our luck but first turn epidemics is something that happens to us a lot … Lima is hit with a hollow man which is a problem. This city is only at 1 population. We must save them! So we plan for the last turn to put a supply centre there to negate the problem.Another Hollow Man jumps out of the bushes in Lagos and ambushing Tethys! But he takes no scar. This blocks off the only way into Africa. This is a problem since Johannesburg is exposed. To reduce this problem Pink Eye connects and explores the new Haven near Madagascar and starts establishing new connections between the haven and cities of Africa and the Middle East. New Haven:This provides us with 15 more supply cubes in the reserves. Literally all the cubes available. It’s a massive boon. I’m actually wondering whether plague will ever be a problem again … A hollow man ambushes Ripley (me) in Cairo. We suddenly realise that by placing supply cubes in cities we are risking hollow man ambushes. Something that was hard to prevent. So it's time to suck it up. Ripley is not proving to be very useful… and I’m missing Deadpool. I think we’ll be putting her back on the bench next game. We see the way to end the game. And we go for it. Hollow Men are making it so delaying is not worth while. A few player cards are thrown. Odin travels to Lima and places our last supply centre sealing the win.Nice. We are yet to let a city fall. I sure hope letting cities fall doesn't make the game easier. Because we are definitely working hard to stop it.Upgrades:Upgrade population - 4 locations dropped to 1 this game so we spent 4 upgrades points raising them back up to 2. This will likely be what we spend points on for quite a while.Permanent supply centre - Baghdad. This is a great location. Very strategically placed for future.Strategic Discussion:Lost Lab in Johannesburg - still priority search for lab.Supply centres - goal, all cities are one step away from a supply centre. Goal JohannasburgWe only have 4 more cities to connect. Connect them all or incrementally? Connecting them all gives us 1 more upgrade point. Also some are targeted for inoculation. Maybe get them in the deck to be removed quickly befo[...]

Session: Tiny Epic Western:: Solo Session - Medium difficulty

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:27:27 +0000

by carrots67

Enjoyed a quick but challenging game today.

I took the role of the Outlaw which helped me win a duel part way through the game with this character's extra 2 bonus points ability in duels.

My poker hands were not good at the start of the game and I could tell by the end of round three that it was very unlikely I would win by the value of buildings cards I had vs the rival. It's tempting to pack the game in at a time like this, but I was curious to see how close I could make the score and it's a very quick game anyway.

I managed to purchased three extra properties in rounds 5 and 6 and with the Wanted Card bonus I narrowed the points gap with my 19 points vs the rival's 25. I was quite pleased with this.

Something new I learned this game: I experienced my first "tie" with a poker hand (where my "modified" card exactly matched that of a rival's so we had the same hand wherever we competed) so by referring to BGG past threads on this matter I quickly ascertained that in cases such as this I should use my natural (unmodified) hand to resolve ties.

I play exactly to the solo rules except those relating to duels. I modified it so that both myself and the rival automatically add a random card value to our dice values as I think this is a fairer system than in the solo rules (which only state the rival can add a card value, and suggests elsewhere in the rules that the player has to pay an industry point to add a card value if they wish).

It's taken me a while and a few sessions to work out the rules but it's been worth it as I find this a really enjoyable game to play now - and of course it's nice and portable so I can take it on my travels. I might even try another game from the Tiny Epic series.

Session: Elder Sign:: My second game

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:26:35 +0000

by carrots67

Just finished my second game of Elder Sign (solo) with no expansions.

My first investigator Gloria got devoured 3/4 way through the game, so Amanda stepped in to collect the last of the 13 Elder signs needed to Seal Hastur "The King in yellow". Not sure I won for real though as I strongly suspect I forgot to place a doom token on the track at one point during an earlier turn - so I'll leave the result on the fence!

I really did enjoy this game. I like how quick it is to set up and learn. I also like how the beautiful artwork and descriptions on the cards tell a story through the game. I found it to be a very relaxing game to play at the end of the day.

Given that the game isn't that complex I would have enjoyed it more if it played a bit shorter (took 2 hours both times) and I feel it could have a bit more of a challenge to win.

Next time I'm going to apply a couple of suggestions I read on the BGG forums about keeping the game challenging and perhaps a bit shorter - this is to use one detective only, and end the game when either the detective is devoured, or the required elder signs are collected, or the doom track is full (I found the battle with the ancient one in my last game a bit repetitive with all it's dice rolling, so may omit that step all together, we'll see).

I look forward to another session of Elder Sign in the not too distant future.

Session: Ager Sanguinis:: Around the waterhole - with an 8 year old

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:46:48 +0000

by sn0wball

When my 8year old son asked me the other day to play one of my games, I decided to break out Ager Sangunis, still unplayed since Christmas, and by that, to expose him to the world of Cry Havoc. He is a second grader, reads and counts decently and is used to boardgames, so what could go wrong ?

As far as rules were concerned, I basically used classic Cry Havoc rules - no specials attack or weapons modes, no special units, no defensive fire: shooting, moving, attacking. For the attack resolution, we used the actual Ager Sanguinis tables - subtracting the defensive score from the attack score is by far easier than dividing it. Thus simplified the game was easy enough for him to grasp within the first rounds.

The raiders were positioned rather randomly around the waterhole, which didn´t prove wise, since this allowed the Frankish cavalry to attack in turn 1. The Turkish cavalry took first casualties immediately, their lines were broken by turn 3.

The raiders tried unsuccessfully to bring their archers to bear. Camel cavalry proved wholly disappointing - at least without the special rules for camels. While the Turkish infantry succeeded in surrounding and unseating one knight, the superior quality of the Frankish fighters proved decisive.

During the second half of the 10turn game, the Franks begin to realize that their superior strength is not enough. Wounding the raiders is easy enough, killing not necessarily so.

The Turks try to withdraw their wounded into the corners and succeed to unhorse and kill the first Franks. Their heavy cavalry is able to stand up to Frankish knights.

During the last turn, disaster strikes. Mansur, the leader of the Turkish war band, had killed Sir Guérin of the Hospitallers and was then challenged by the hero the scenario, Thibaud, of TV fame. The lack of armor proved fatal for the knight. With Mansur rolling a 1 to attack him during the very last turn, Thibaud is unhorsed, mortally wounded.

Being a classic TV hero, it is likely that Thibaud will turn out not to be dead, being nursed back to health by some beautiful oriental damsel, to fight yet another day.

This success doesn´t turn the tide, though. One more Frankish casualty doesn´t effect victory conditions at all. Still, although Frankish steel cut through Turkish robes like butter throughout the game, there were enough raiders left to reduce the Frankish victory to narrow.

The conclusions are clear. To achieve a striking victory, the Franks would have to kill more enemies, probably by concentrating their powerful cavalry attacks on weak footmen. On the other side, the Turks could try to avoid combat, to split their forces, not expose weak targets to attack. Also, the waterhole could be used to bring the archers to bear.

Session: Vengeance:: Solo Playthrough of Vengeance with Johnny Silver

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:45:34 +0000

by bgkoh Did a solo playthrough of Vengeance with Johnny SilverOriginal post at Read more of my playthrough with other games there!The name's Silver, Johnny Silver....and I got a grudge to bear with this Japanese gang known as the Tengu-KaiI don't know what I did. I can't half remember, but I know I was tortured at the hands of 3 of them gang bosses. A mean sonna' beyotch known as Batoman strung me up and implemened one of those "Japanese-water-torture" devices on me. Stressed me out so bad I can't even remember what I did to wrong him. Must've insulted his man-bun. Another one of them, this tatooted freak they called Dae-Shi roughed me real bad, left me with limb. And after that, they handed me over to their leader, a big fat Sumo-like dude whose name I can't recall.All I remember was being kicked out of this dojo onto the streets. They also stole some of my family heirlooms. I swore I get them back for what they'd done. Some day.Took about a few weeks for me to recover back my sanity. The rest also allowed me to train my reflexes, something I'd need if I wanted to get back at those damn yakuza-wannabes. Picked up an old pistol and managed to find some time to scout out some places where I reckon them lowlife Tengu-Kai hang out.Jackpot! The shady laundromat turned out to be the hideout of that Bato-man-bun. I knew I was in for a fight, but I was ready.Rushing into the main laundromat area, I picked up a knife lying on the floor, ducked and stabbed the first thug blocking my way. Followed that up with a stabbing the toughie in the corner and shooting the lone gunman snoozing in the back.Couldn't do a darn thing about that yakuza lady, she was prepared. Took a small amount of beating, but reeled up and prepared to fight back.Swinging around as I got up, I stabbed the chick and took my aim at Batoman. If it wasn't for that thug in the way, I would've got him dead to rights.Still, it was down to me and him, all he had was his baseball bat. And you know what they say, never bring a bat to a gunfight. Close enough.Well, that was one down. I spent the day, cleaning up the bodies and holding up in that laundromat planning my next move. Found a couple of med-pacs, and killing Batoman managed to appease my sanity further, which helped a ton.Also picked up another pistol. It could come in handy.The phone rang at the laundromat. I picked it up and stay silent. Lo-and-behold, if it wasn't ol' Dae-Shi, calling to check on Batoman. I let him ramble on a bit, enough time for me to find out where he was.Picking up my supplies, I head over to this rathole of an apartment downtown.Sneaking up, I took down a Tengu thug and her lover by surprise before they could do anything. But a gunman playing cards in the next room saw me and took a shot. Grazed my shoulder, but nothing I couldn't handle.Rushing in, knives blazing, I took out the gunman and his poker buddy. Took out the 2 pistols I had stored away, and shot down Dae-shi's drinking buddies before they knew what happened.With a knife in each hand, I rushed over to mad tatooed freak and stabbed him multiple times until he went down. But not before he cursed and muttered that his boss would be back to take revenge. Not if I get to him first.Seeing as how I got a bit of time, I holed up in that rat's nest and cleaned myself up good. Who would've thought that a dump like that stocked enough supplies to feed a king.Even found this old manual that taught this technique called a "Shuriken Storm". Figured it'd be pretty poetic to use their own skills agains them.Guessed they must've found ol' Batoman's body in the laundromat. This hell rider called Limp O[...]

Session: The Invincible Armada 1588 AD:: The Successful Armada

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:44:43 +0000

by hammurabi70 I was recently introduced to this very interesting game and as the novice took control of the Spanish Armada, my companion as the ‘expert’, having played once before, took the challenging role of commanding the English Fleet.I deployed in the historic crescent formation; a mistake. It would be better to deploy in an L shaped formation facing north and west, the main directions of threat and at far distance from the oncoming English. In the instance as the English sortied from Plymouth they were able to assault directly into the Spanish fleet. Aided by an event chit that gave two extra dice and some exceptional dice-rolling that inflicted six hits in one combat, and by concentrating in fighting the nearest squadron, the English soon overwhelmed it and sent it to the bottom. This set off the running fight up channel during which both sides started accumulating damage. The one positive note was that at the very start an event chit had caused damage to Drake’s squadron and that great die-rolling had also resulted in Drake’s squadron ‘breaking’; once the squadron had been brought to order it had slipped off to rejoin the combat from the west rather than the north. Unfortunately for Drake the following two turns the wind blew from the east and he was neither able to join the combat tactically nor strategically get ahead of the Armada.By the Isle of Wight both sides had taken a lot of damage. At first I had thought that the Spanish were better off limiting combat to restrict their losses but I then realised that this was enabling the English to concentrate on individual squadrons, haul away, reorganise and restart the fight as they wished. The key for the Spanish was to time the counter-attack so that they got the squadrons with good combat options attacking English squadrons that were weakened by losses and disorganisation (‘broken’). Focussing attacks on Hawkins, which he failed to dodge, resulted in reducing him to three ships; he had to put into Portsmouth, short on ships and ammunition and in low spirits. Hawkins reinvigorated squadron would never catch up with the fight. Other English squadrons forged ahead to Dover to restock and repair, leaving Drake alone to continue to harry the Spanish, who in relative peace were able to conduct repairs and replenishment, except for one badly battered squadron that repeatedly failed all rolls.The Spanish were able to drop their anchors at Calais Roads in good order and an easterly wind kept the English pursuing from Dover at bay, although allowing Seymour to arrive from Harwich. The attack of the fireships proved an anti-climax, as all the squadrons other than the very badly damaged one passed their morale checks and headed out to sea; only two ships were lost. On the following turn the Armada has to pause to reorder but the weather was kind enough to be calm so that the English were unable to move. However, Drake was next to the Spanish galleys and was able to attack and destroyed the moderately damaged galley squadron. Seymour was unable to get up to the Spanish ships and the Armada then passed on to Gravelines. The state of the Armada proved a bit dodgy at this point and they needed three or better on the die to be ready for the army: they were ready. Parma rolled a six and the invasion was on. The Armada closed the English coast and the defending fleets put in a series of ferocious attacks. It looked bleak as many of the Spaniards were broken and only four Spanish squadrons were in good order, although two English squadrons were broken. The hulks were all there, albeit one had only one ship left after the terrible English at[...]

Session: Time of Crisis:: Four emperors in one evening

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:44:12 +0000

by ersby As part of our weekly games group, we also try to arrange a monthly Time of Crisis session. (Arnodestang wrote about one of our evening a couple of months ago on this forum with the title “Three blues, two yellows.”) Since I always blog our ToC sessions, I took notes. I ended up with seven pages!I’ve put up a shorter more fun version on our blog, with photos here... I was encouraged to put up a fuller version on the Geek, so here it is.We began at 8.10pm with Ian as starting payer. The opening stages of the game played out pretty quietly. Ian began in Egyptus, me in Africa, Martin in Pannonia and Joe in Gallia.Ian quickly found himself with his hands full: the Sassanids were the most lively barbarians of the evening by far and if that wasn’t enough, two barbarian leaders came out. He had one to deal with in Galatia and there was a Priest King in Syria, annoyingly right between his two regions.After I noticed that Joe’s dishwasher makes the same grumbling noise that his dog makes, he became Emperor! The first of the the evening at 9 o’clock. That Priest King in Syria weakened his support though, leaving Ian with a dilemma: kill off the Prince for points and convenience or just learn to live with it to annoy the Emperor.Then a shock: Martin became Emperor on his next turn. He was, he admitted, just trying to weaken Joe’s army in Rome when he won the battle. Joe retreated and Martin moved in. Then, since he had one blue point and a spare governor, he decided he’d have a go at taking over the Empire. And he won! Thus ended Joe’s eleven-minute empire.At this point, the scores were Martin 27, Joe and Ian 15, and me on 14, albeit with Ian and Martin having had an extra go.Martin’s lead was too great to ignore, and my previous slow but safe plan of taking Britannia (where I already had an army waiting for my governor) was shelved. Instead, I got elected into Martin’s army-less Pannonia. His support in Rome fell. Joe then took Thracia from Martin and his support in Rome fell to two. Could Ian profit?He couldn’t. Instead he took out his frustration on some barbarians.Martin was faced with a wide range of options. Take back Pannonia or Thracia? Take Macedonia? Attack barbarians in Asia? In the end, he did everything except take back Thracia. Impressive, even if he did seem disappointed to just be back where he was last turn, calling his move “a bit of a repair job.”I got elected in Macedonia and, irritated by the Nomads’ apparent shyness on my African border, I considered attacking them for points but I didn’t want my army so far from the action in Rome. Another barbarian leader popped up among the Sassanids at this point, much to Ian’s sarcastic delight.Joe attacked Martin in Rome and forced his army out of the capital. He then had two dice to get two votes and become Emperor again. He rolled 3-1 and his plans are ruined.The score now, with everyone having taken the same number of turns, was: Martin 38, Joe 26, Andrew 24, Ian 22.Ian finally turned against his unwanted lodger, the Priest King. He rolled a dismal 1-1 while the Priest King got in two hits. Painful. Then that Sassanid leader decided to take loads of his friends and move into Syria too. A complicated situation for Ian.Emperor Martin clearly decided that the matter of the Priest King needed to be sorted out, so he spent five red points building and moving an army and finishing off the king once and for all. Ian just sighed.I was in trouble on my turn. I’d fully expected my undefended governor in Macedonia to have been forced out [...]

Session: Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Tragic Events:: So Many Victims! And So Many Laughs

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:40:55 +0000

by Dunyazad Our third playthrough with Tragic Events was one of the most entertaining games of Flash Point I can remember. We were playing at the Heroic level on the most basic board, and it started out normally enough, but things soon got pretty crazy….I attribute most of the weirdness to two things: 1) the Suppression Specialist; and 2) our decision to keep playing after we saved seven victims, trying to get out as many as possible (doesn’t everyone do this)? Both of these factors led to the game going on for a long time, much longer than intended. I actually wonder whether the Suppression Specialist is a bit overpowered, because the ability to flip the Advance Fire dice makes it easy to keep the board under control at the beginning, before the Flare Ups start accumulating and you run out of decent spots on the board….Anyway, one of the first three victims we rescued was the dog. And then the dog went back into the house to retrieve his board game collection. This sort of ridiculousness just doesn’t happen without the event deck . (And don’t worry, we rescued the dog a second time. I think this means the board games are safe too.)One of the interesting things about the Event Deck is that it just keeps adding POIs to the supply. We only started with ten victims, but by the end of the game, there were 17! As long as you keep playing, the victims keep coming. They were definitely having a party in there. We actually went through the whole Event Deck and then reshuffled it, so that a second heavy victim came out. (I don’t know how we were intended to deal with this situation—we didn’t think it made sense to shuffle back in the heavy victim we had already rescued, so we just added the extra one from the Extreme Danger Kickstarter. Probably the situation shouldn’t have occurred at all, if we’d stopped at seven saved victims like we were supposed to.)There was a sad moment at one point in the game, when we lost Jenkins. I’m not sure quite how it happened, since he was sitting in the ambulance at the time and seemed fine. He just passed out suddenly and was no use to us anymore, just another victim to save. He was heavy too! The good news is that the Rescue Specialist had been right there in the ambulance with him, so she was able to “save” him immediately. (Yep, that was a heavy victim appearing directly in the ambulance, revealed instantly by the other firefighter there—score!) We really missed having our Fire Captain for the rest of the mission—he had been pretty crucial to our plan, especially with the Suppression Specialist mostly just sitting around and not doing much to get victims out of the building.All in all, it was an interesting and often hilarious game. It went on for a long time—almost two hours—but again, that’s our own fault for playing past the end. The event deck led to some odd outcomes, and maybe we didn’t interpret all the cards correctly, but we sure had a lot of laughs. And really, what else can you ask for in a game?After only three plays, I’m already pretty convinced that Tragic Events is the most important Flash Point expansion out there, and I look forward to seeing how they’ll continued to develop the Event Deck concept in the future.The end of the game: 11 victims already saved and plenty more on the boardThose who survived, including our heavy colleague Jenkins—it's all muscle, he tells us [...]

Session: Saltlands:: Second solo game of Saltlands

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:40:39 +0000

by ColintheFlea

Second game of Saltlands, this time solo, hard, with the Healer.

I wanted to have more of the board uncover than when I played my first game (where I managed to stay on the original 3 tiles). So I purposely selected Rumor Card directions that pushed the Rumor Markers North. Also, due to the Healers special ability to, well, heal effectively, I decided that I didn't need any crew to absorb hits. I could use the extra hand size to maintain enough first aid kits to protect myself. She can also change the wind direction, so again, I stuck with the Land Sail (though about halfway through, I got the armored version).

I started by picking up a couple of easy loot tokens, before heading out Northeast. I made a plan early to win on the blue rumor tile.

Anyway, I think I got a little lucky. As you can see from my image below, the tile I ended up winning on had a large dune barrier on the Southwest edge. If Raiders cannot reach you with unlimited movement, they don't move at all. So, I was able to dart around that tile with only minimal interference from the Raiders. However, my last move was pretty epic. With a Speedster and 2 Trucks on the tile, I needed to kill them all to win. First, I took out the Speedster next to me with a molotov cocktail. Next, I destroyed the Truck with an AK47. Moving off towards the final foe, I refreshed myself with some water, before shooting the Truck with a sawed off shotgun. Downing some more precious water, refreshing myself a second time, I finished it off with a pickaxe.

Ta-da! The Healer wins!

Overall, I enjoy the game. You can take different paths to win, which is good. However, I feel that the game doesn't force you to change path enough. I have won both games using just the land sail. I could switch to a powered vehicle, but that would be just because I wanted to, not because I had to to alter my strategy. I've yet to try controlling more players, or the Epic game, which adds more tiles, Raiders and card requirements. Maybe they will change things up a little. Looking forward to finding out.

Overall, a fun, relatively fast, game, with beautiful components, and an interesting hand-management puzzle. Though I won, I would have been in trouble had any of the Raiders survived, and spawned again. I would have been forced off the tile to get more weapons, and that would likely have been the end of me.



Session: Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients:: Tale of the Wanderer p1

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:11:34 +0000

by AsokaNura

Mission 1 (A few Dark stone More) Characters: Marshal, Drifter

After entering the mine the first set tile we placed was a clue, encounter two door ways. The encounter summoned 4 Hungry Dead and 1 Corpse Pile due to a bunch of bad rolls this part almost killed both characters, but using a revive token on the marshal and him finally starting to shoot the hell out of the corpse pile we ended up finally getting past the encounter but barely . The third tile placed a encounter no clue, ambushed by a Night terror and due to two crit hits it dropped like nothing at all by the drifter. Due to my own stupidity i had the marshal wander off and try and explore on his own to find the second clue and he ended up having to fight a single Slasher. using grit to ensure a hit i got lucky and rolled a 8 on damage which ignored his defense and killed it but then I realized the mistake i had made and started moving the marshal back toward the drifter as quickly as possible each turn. He ended up taking 6 Sanity damage from voices of Darkness.

I ended up losing my very first game due to poor rolls at pushing back the darkness and the darkness ended up escaping the mines, however I did find both clues and reached the final fight, but before the fight could begin that darkness roll ended up making me lose.

After losing we headed back to town and the marshal took 2 corruption hits from his dark stone, the drifter took none. During the travel back to town nothing happened thankfully. I ended up finding a large Haunted town and the layout is as fallows (2 of the buildings were destroyed by the escaped darkness):
1) Sheriffs office 2) General Store (Destroyed) 3)Indian Trading Post 4) Street Market (destroyed) 5) Blacksmith 6) Docs Office 7) Gambling Hall 8) Church.

Pulling a daily event from the deck I had to roll on the special events from the town and met a wandering spirit who warned the characters of the oncoming darkness, so the drifter ended up taking that special ability to ignore a single Darkness card next adventure.
Both characters spent the 10$ to stay in the hotel for the night thus activating the end of day event of possible possession, both characters passed the 5+ spirit save and slept soundly in the hotel. Before I leave
town for the next adventure Ill probably end up buying a cursed artifact for they both have a good chunk of gold and some dark stone to sell or refine.

Final Stats before ending the session:
gold 190
Dark Stone: 2
Level 0
XP 215
Corruption 2

Gold 690
Dark Stone 2
Level 0
XP 315
Corruption 0
(Will do Pictures next time)

Session: Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion:: Behind enemy lines - up and down

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 13:04:45 +0000

by Sysiphos Today I played the scenario "behind enemy lines" from the german solo campaign. First of all I apologize for my poor photographer skills. I hope you still enjoy it as I did while trying to find some prisoners of war before exiting to the near armoured support. Lets go:After the airdrop my pioneers found themselves surronded by a NKVD unit and a russian rifle. They immediately fired and hit the NKVD. Twice in a row. Not the best possible start but it could be worse. Both pioneers got spent during these first few turns but the round didnt end. Instead I used some of the CAPs to move them onwards when suddenly some flares lightened up and my pioneers were able to see another german rifle on the other side of the open area.The following chain reaction revealed another russian rifle beside the lake and - more important for me - a german lmg in second part of the map, deep within enemy territory and close to the estimaded prison. My fresh german rifle unit moved towards some trees to find cover and reveal another unit - one more russian rifle, which attacked and hit my germans. Some more REs have been added to the map and my lmg made their way through to the prison.With the last CAPs for Round 1 was able to move the lmg to the first control marker which gave me another rife unit. This fresh rifle team rescued the second team right before the first scoring on the mission track. So I have been up 7 to 0 at that point, 3 counters on the west half of the board (which will bring them to the next scenario). My german rifles found another paratrooper rifle unit, so i have a strong group on the east side of the map consisting of a lmg and 3 rifles. In the RE cup have been only two more german units, the 2nd lmg and the 4th rifle. Not so bad.Then I started to make my way back to the west side of the map (remember, it is still round 1). My rifle units coordinated an attack against the russion maxim mmg and took it out. Now things looked really in my way. Several russian attacks in the middle of the map against my hit rifle unit all missed.On of my rifle teams attacked the russian team beside the lake successfully while finally the russians eliminated my rifle team in the middle of the map. At that point I lost another rifle unit to the mission track event "missing in action" - new score now 5 - 0. During these turns the first round ended. Second started in my favour as I was able to take out another rifle unit with both my pioneers. Unfortunately they got spent.I decided to get my lmg to the north side of the map to reveal the missing RE counters. Not a really brilliant idea. They got into close range of the russian NKVD and took some hits (the first two of them I could rally directly). In the meantime a russian rifle attacked my stacked pioneers and hit one of them.The RE near my pioneers has been a no enemy counter - whew that helped.The german lmg striked back against the NKVD. My three german rifle units on the south side of the map had a walk in the park but they failed their spent checks against a 1 and stayed on the east side of the map. If I remember right I was out of CAPs already.Horray, I found my 2nd lmg or better it found me as a new RE counter on the west side stepped out of cover. This might be a much needed support for my both pioneers threatened by a single russian rifle in close range. On the downside another russian rifle supported the NKVD. Didnt look well for my lmg here.Round 2 ended. Round 3 started with my new lmg eliminating the russian rifle unit besides my pi[...]

Session: Star Trek: Ascendancy – Borg Assimilation:: Third Solo Borg Game: Klingons

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 13:01:57 +0000

by chas59 STAR TREK ASCENDANCY: THIRD SOLO GAMEKLINGONS VS THE BORGBy Chas“It would have been glorious!”--John Colicos as Commander Kor, Errand of Mercy, TOSAs usual, the Klingon Home System Kronos and the Transwarp Hub are placed 18" apart on the official GF9 Mat, with the Optional Rules Extra Starting Resources and Focused Research in effect. For the first time in the STA Solo Series, the Borg drew the first move. A Borg Cube appeared in the Transwarp Hub, and immediately explored and assimilated the first of the two 'safe' (Non Borg, non Phenomona) systems discs, establishing the First Borg World and discarding a juicy looking blue Discovery Exploration Card with typical cyborg disdain. As if the Klingons needed a wake up call! And so the word went out to every actor, living or dead, who ever played a Klingon in any Star Trek incarnation, from Michael Ansara to Michael Dorn, from Christoper Lloyd to Christopher Plummer! The Klingons would now build the mightiest fleets ever seen, and battle the Borg without mercy, to the everlasting glory of the Klingon race, win or lose! K'plah!As a Klingon player, I continued my new solo player practice of going through the Tech Deck, and discarding any that would not be useful in a campaign against the Borg. My practice this early is to allow as many Techs to be used as possible, since this is a large part of the resources and character of each faction. (See Romulan Orbital Mines in the second solo report). On Turn One I built a four ship fleet 9the start of hopefully a full 9 ship fleet), raised my weapons a level, and started exploring, keeping some resources for later development.The second 'safe' world proved to be a nice one with node positions for Production and Open. The Ferengi Shield Ally card appeared, which would be probably useless, but on the other hand permanently available Then a crisis struck on this very first turn, with the first nonsafe system explored—a Transwarp Conduit, right next to the Home System. Not dangerous art first, with the wrong Borg Command Card, it could prove for the entry of a Cube direct from the TW Hub. Oh no! Adding insult to injury, the scout was destroyed by the 6 hazard. After some difficult calculation, I launched the tech Orbital Ship Yards, as I should be able to reach Ascendancy Level 2 next turn.On Turn Two the Klingons got the first turn, went up to Ascendancy Level Two, and added three ships to the fleet, bringing it to a strength of 7 ships, and put a Research on the new tech. This sacrificed the opportunity to build a colony, the opposite decision I had made as the Romulans in the last game. I explored outward from the first undeveloped world, no longer going directly from my Home System to minimize the danger of creating yet another route for the Borg to follow there, and discovered a second world with a Culture node position. But now of course I had no way to build colonies this turn. Nor could I now launch my next tech choice, Forward Munitions Bases. So commissioned Star Base 1 on Kronos, my Home System, the only one I currently controlled. My income was still only Kronos, so I could not start another project. But I'd be able to build a second base and fleet if left alone for a couple of turns, and if not I was probably done for anyhow. Last I split off a ship from the fleet to block the center of the Space Lane between the TW Conduit and Kronos. Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice!On the second Borg turn, a second Cube ap[...]

Session: BANG! The Dice Game:: Shootout in the Office Cubicles.

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:15:09 +0000

by pdzoch This session report is part of a continuing series where I describe the games being played as part of our Game Lunch Fridays during the lunch break of a business office. Our lunch break is only thirty minutes, so our game choices are limited to games that can be taught and played in a short time.Today for our Game Lunch Friday event, I brought Bang! The Dice Game. I have been trying to get this game to the table for several weeks now, so I was happy that we were able to finally play it. Four other co-workers (Pat, Vince, Corietha, and Bill, a new employee) attended the game lunch today. Two others wanted to attend but work obligations kept them from making it to the table. Most of the games we have played at the office so far have been card games. This was the first dice game in the office. I explained the rules in about five minutes. I first explained the roles in the game and which were hidden. I then handed out the player aids and explained the sides of the dice and how they worked. The “Yahtzee” analogy was an easy one to grasp. I explained the bullets (life) and arrows (and the Indian attack event). Finally, I explained the random characters and how their special abilities worked.I first handed out the Roles. Pat was the Sheriff. Unknown to others, I (also a Patrick) was a Deputy. Then I handed out the personas. I handed Pat the dice to start the game. Roles are revealed below, but we did not know them until the end of the game.Players and Roles:Pat [Pedro Rameriz] [Sheriff]Vince [ Suzy Lafayette] [Outlaw]Corietha [Rose Doolan] [Renegade]Patrick (me) [El Gringo] [Deputy] Bill [Slab the Killer] [Outlaw]Gameplay:Pat [Pedro Rameriz] [Sheriff] rolls: He shoots Vince and Me (his deputy, but he does not know it). But El Gringo causes Pat to gain an arrow for wounding me. Vince reminds Pat that he also takes a wound for rolling three dynamites. It was a rule that I had neglected to inform them, but the players were reading the player’s aid and were keeping each other honest.Vince [ Suzy Lafayette] [Outlaw] rolls: He rolled arrows three times, one during each roll, so he collected three arrows. Then fired both his shots at Bill. (The two outlaws were shooting each other!)Corietha [Rose Doolan] [Renegade] rolls: Corietha was trying to trigger the gattling attack. She had not been wounded yet, so she gave one of her two beers (life) to Vince. I had forgotten to mention that the healing from the beer was transferable. The players had noted it on the player’s aid, so I am glad they had them.Patrick (me) [El Gringo] [Deputy] rolls: I had rolled the gattling attacks early, so I tried to get the third one also, but it did not come up. I considered gifting my one heal to Patrick (the Sheriff), but he wasn’t THAT wounded yet and I did not want to tip my identify completely, so I fired my two shots at Vince.Bill [Slab the Killer] [Outlaw] rolls: Bill had rolled an arrow twice, and on the final arrow, it triggered the Indian attack, grievously wounding Vince. Bill fires his two shots at Pat (the Sheriff).Pat [Pedro Rameriz] [Sheriff] rolls: Pat really needed the health, and he fired one shot at Vince and one at Corietha (because they were picking on him he joked).Vince [ Suzy Lafayette] [Outlaw] rolls: Vince stops rolling early because he triggers the gattling attacks and does not want to change any of his rolls. He heals himself for one. My El Gringo power gives Vince another a[...]

Session: 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis:: 13 Days: Nuclear Crisis Fun and Card/Decision Angst in a Cold Winter (JAN 2018)

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:08:48 +0000

by Herr Dr Background: It's all related: Power politics again, a book and one damm interesting topicThe Day Before: 1st MN Bootcamps Third World War Series: The Persian Gulf AAR: Nov 14, 2014Cold War Games1960 Over the 2017 Holidays: A of bottle port, a newly converted strategy gamer and one damm elegant design.Continuing a recent SPI Power Politics binge ... popped into the game store (despite the bitter NYC cold in JAN 2018) to see what's new. Stumbled across 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis . First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society had played it, but, I hadn't heard much buzz about it. Small game (yikes!)...not many components: would it be worth the play? The game is very accessible, given small rule book and projected playing time of under an hour. Related, Herman has been raving about the new book Destined for War, which, I picked up and read (disturbing and interesting). Same author has did a book on the Cuban Missile Crisis (which, I now plan to get). I've always loved the Cold War Goes Hot topic; covered it on Guns, Dice, Butter . And, I recently started playing 1960: The Making of the President - so, been in the mood for card driven games that play quick & fast. So, why not pick up a copy of 13 Days? With a copy secured, arranged to play that week...A bit about the game...ComponentsCardsBits? Card driven. Minimalistic components. A game board with only a few spaces (known as battlegrounds). Some cubes. Sadly, no B52 or ICBM counters. No bling. Game play? Each player gets 3 agenda cards which correspond to spaces/boxes (battlegrounds) on the game board. You mark the boxes and then secretly select one that will be scored (a groovy mechanic). Each player then gets 5 event cards. You can play the card for control of cubes (remove or place your own) or the event (events are either Evil Empire, USA or UN - you can not play your opponents event). 4 rounds...then bury a card (total cubes on cards buried awards 2 prestige points at end of the game). How to win? Prestige...which you get by scoring the agenda cards (essentially, net differential of cubes on a scored battleground). Control of the personal letter card is the tiebreaker (if Prestige is zero). That's about it, except, for the OUTSTANDING DEF CON tracks...DEFCON tracks...three of them. Many (all?) Cold War games that have a DEFCON track has only one. 13 Days has three: military, political and world opinion (which also each correspond to 3 battlegrounds on map). If a player gets to DEFCON 1, game over. If all three of your tracks get to DEFCON 2, game over. This produces great tension and card angst. I really liked the trade-off of putting cubes (influence/resources) into a particular space (a battleground) and this or that DEFCON track increasing. And, the mechanic, were a player can de-escalate a particular track by removing cubes from a battleground. I would love to see this mechanic (maybe strategic will tracks for particular faction that rise and fall to determine victory & defeat) incorporated into other games. All-in-all, the DEFCON Tracks are a fantastic design element. Perspective: who are you? Richard H. Berg , spot on as always, once indicated players are frequently put into the "god role" for their respective sides. Such a chess like role is bullshit (think of the game Risk ). 13 Days tosses enough grit into the gears of power politics to insure that players' control of the game is adequately thwarted. Additionally, I like the[...]

Session: Pandemic: In the Lab:: Solo Game + In the Lab (AKA The Best Shuffling EVER!)

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 01:53:34 +0000

by VirulentStrain Having had a previous enjoyable experience with Solo Play, I thought I would up the difficulty and add the Lab Challenge. It had also been some time since I had an opportunity to play the Lab Challenge, so I wanted to sharpen my skills a bit.Starting SetupEpidemics: 4Discards: 3 Red (Sydney, Jakarta, Tokyo); 3 Yellow (Santiago, Johannesburg, Bogotá); 1 Black (Chennai); 1 Blue (New York)Starting Role (random): ResearcherStarting Sequence Card: Blue Only (4 Blue cubes required)My Starting Hand: Lima, Moscow, Milan, Event (Remote Treatment)CDC Starting Hand: San Francisco, Tehran, Karachi, LagosStarting Infections: Milan, Miami, Madrid (3); Chicago, Essen, Sydney (2); Los Angeles, Algiers, New York City (1)GameplayStarting with a single disease sequence card in the Lab was a gift, especially since it was the blue disease that looked poised to ruin my game quickly. Fortunately, the CDC and I both had great opening hands for dealing with this catastrophe in North America and Europe. I won't give a turn by turn account, but I will highlight some significant moments in the game.On the first turn, I did a Charter Flight to Milan and treated 3 blue cubes to the Lab. I also played Remote Treatment to clear out 1 cube in Madrid and Miami to eliminate the initial Outbreak threat for the first Epidemic. The CDC then characterized the Blue Disease with its San Francisco card.On the second turn, I was able to move to Madrid, treat a blue cube to the Lab, then built a Research Station in Madrid. Using my free action for building the Station, I moved all the blue cubes to the centrifuge. I then used the Researcher's free action to open the second research line and got.. the red only sequence card! The CDC then processed the blue cubes to the blue sequence card. Pretty nice start to this game!In the next turn, I characterized the red disease, treated the last blue cube in Madrid and then passed my last two turns (I had a plan brewing). The first Epidemic showed up on this turn draw and the red disease broke out heavily in Manila. No Outbreaks happened on the Infection draw. The CDC then changed me to the Operations Expert.With some Operations Expert skill, I was able to get a Research Station in Manila and have the red and blue disease tested within the next two turns. Shuttling back to Atlanta, the CDC changed my role to Scientist. Due to some great draws from the Player Deck and the Scientist's abilities, I was able to cure the red disease. After curing the red disease, I got a new sequence card for free and it was.. the yellow only sequence card! Crazy!!! The card draw brought the second Epidemic, which broke out in Buenos Aires. The CDC then characterized the yellow disease.After adding some yellow cubes to the Lab and getting some more cards, three turns later I was able to cure both the blue and yellow diseases. One of the all disease sequence cards came out (1 blue, 3 blacks, 4 red) to replace the blue sequence and a useless red/yellow sequence card came out on the second research line. I played the Event Sequencing Breakthrough for my last disease (black) and switched to the Epidemiologist role (free processing action each turn). The next turn, the CDC characterized the black disease. The third Epidemic came out on the next turn in Instanbul, which really helped since not many black cities had been infected. I was able to get to Instanbul to p[...]

Session: Wild Blue Yonder:: Rommel Attacks : solitaire playthrough of Stage I

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 01:40:19 +0000

by Grotius April 1, 1941: Axis and Allied aircraft square off over the skies of Libya. This is a simple three-mission campaign, intended as an introduction to the larger campaigns in "Wild Blue Yonder."The first mission was a German airstrike on the airfield at Gazala (mission #2). A pair of Bf 110Es intend to bomb the airfield, with a pair of Bf110Cs (Resource 1) escorting. Two Hurricane Mk Is intercept. The Hurricanes started with height advantage and dived on the light bombers, but they were unable to damage or destroy either. One of the escorting 110Cs, however, got one of the Hurricanes in its sights, damaging and eventually destroying it. The bombers weathered flak mostly unscathed and dropped their bombload, inflicting moderate but not devastating damage to the airfield. The bombers, still escorted by the 110Cs, made it back to base safely. Allied Score: 0. Axis Score: 3 points for damage to the airfield, 5 points for shooting down a fighter, 6 points for two bombers returning home safely, total of 14 points. The second mission was a Stuka airstrike on ground forces at Via Balbia (mission #1), again with 110Cs escorting and Hurricanes intercepting. The Allies had the benefit of Small Arms fire to deter strafing of the ground troops. The Axis had an Experienced Air Crew and a skilled Pilot (with Combat Vision, allowing a mulligan). This time the Hurricanes scored glancing hits on both an escort and a bomber, but not enough to Damage either. (Memo to file: concentrate your fire.) The Stukas suffered minor flak damage and then inflicted harrowing damage on the ground troops, Shattering them. (One of the bombs was a Vital hit.) Because their dive-bombing was so accurate, the Stukas didn't need to risk strafing, which would have incurred extra-deadly Flak thanks to the Allied Small Arms resource. The bombers and their escorts made it back home. No aircraft Damaged or Destroyed. Allied Score: 0. Axis Score: 6 (Shattered damage to troops) + 6 (two bombers successfully completed mission and returned home undamaged), total of 12 points. Campaign total: 26-0 in favor of Axis.The final mission was a Dogfight over the skies of Sidi Azeiz (mission #6.) (Note: I drew a repeat of mission #2, but I invoked the optional rule allowing a re-draw of a mission you've already run.) This pitted four Hurricanes against four BF 110Cs (each side with two Elements of Leaders and Wingmen). The Axis drew two named Pilots AND a Veteran pilot, who was assigned to a Wingman. One increased the Performance rating of his aircraft (allowing a larger hand size); the other again had Combat Vision (allowing a Mulligan). The Allies drew one skilled Pilot (Denis, a French airman), who increased his Hurricane's damage capacity by 1 (from 3/6=damage/destroyed to 4/7=damaged/destroyed). I swear the Allies could not catch a break!The Allies' bad luck followed them into the sky, as one German Wingman quickly Damaged the one unskilled Allied pilot's aircraft, and later the Wingman's leader finished off the Hurricane. The Allies did manage to ding a couple of German aircraft, but not enough to Damage any of them. Score: Allies 0, Axis 5 (destroyed fighter).So the final score was Axis 31, Allies 0, or an "Outstanding" victory for the Axis -- the highest possible score. Now, it's entirely possibly I messed up my scoring somewhere, but there's no doubt that Rommel won this[...]

Session: Massive Darkness:: Maze of Darkness Solo Challenge

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:52:52 +0000

by DoctorBandage I was recently challenged to complete Quest 9 using only one Hero in 'Normal Mode'. I'll talk about my thoughts going into the challenge followed by a play-by-play of the game followed by a post-mortem analysis. The pre-game and post mortem are in plain text, but the playthrough will be narrative interspersed with parenthesis detailing rolls, actions, or other 'out of character' things. For reference, S=Sword, H=Sheild, B=Bam, D=Diamond.Given the nature of the scenario, I wanted to choose a ranged class with Safe Shot to pick off enemies without wasting too many actions on movement. I originally thought of bringing the Nightshade Ranger, but later changed my mind to the Bloodmoon Nightrunner. More on that later. My initial choices of Heroes were Sybil, Whisper, or Sicarius. Sybil pairs well with the Nightshade Ranger class, adding extra rerolls to mitigate bad luck. Whisper would offer shield mitigation with her shadow skill and her Hero skill would make any movement actions I needed to take much more effective. Sylvan was briefly considered for his +3 Swords against roaming Monsters, but I ultimately settled on Sicarius for his Loner ability (+2 Swords if no allies in sight). +2 Swords against everything seemed better than +3 against some things. Sicarius's Special skill seems to be tailor-made for solo mode and his shadow skill (blank attack results get +1 Sword) mitigates a lot of the randomness in attack rolls. Starting with a Short Bow (2 Yellow), Sicarius' minimum roll is 4 swords if in a shadow zone. With most of the attack randomness mitigated by Sicarius's ability, the Nightshade Ranger no longer felt like an appropriate choice. The Bloodmoon Nightrunner class offered defense mitigation, extra damage, and most importantly Safe Shot. Aside from Sicarius as my Hero, everything else in this play through used just the standard core set. Also note that I don't always list out every modifier in an attack, notably the flat +2S from Lone or Sicarius's Shadow Skill. If the math seems off, I'm likely using Loner or some combination of skills that I forgot to explicitly write down. ---Sicarius scowled, though no one would ever notice it through his crimson mask. "Guard the artifact Siccy... It'll be fun, Siccy…" he muttered to himself. If he never heard Valerie's voice again, it would be too soon. Unfortunately for him, Valerie was on the Council of the Bloodmoon Society and assigned all the contracts. It was either do what she wanted or not get paid. And Sicarius liked getting paid. A low rumble shook Sicarius from his thoughts. He glanced over his shoulder at the Artifact atop the pillar he was leaning against. It had begun to glow and contort it's cubic form. As the artifact shifted, so too did the walls of the maze centered around the altar. Two stone slabs adjacent to the pillars slid away, revealing two chambers filled with treasure. "A bonus for my trouble, eh?" Sicarius mused, "Don't mind if I do". He stepped towards one of the rooms and felt both his foot, and his heart, sink into the floor. A trapped pressure plate. How could he be so careless?The artifact twisted shape and glowed red. The stone walls of the maze whirled round, giving way to four entrances into the Maze of Darkness. A few paces in front of each entrance, four pillars rose forth from the floor. They flashed a blinding light as a [...]

Session: Rory's Story Cubes:: A brighter future

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 22:40:34 +0000

by provence

This story takes place in a beach town in California.

Two teenage boys were walking along the pier overlooking the Pacific Ocean when they found a back full of money. They started fighting and one boy pushed the other off the pier.

Jumping off the pier is illegal in the town and so the boy who fell off was arrested by serious local police at gun point. Despite being wrongly arrested, he did not want to rat off the other boy as a matter of honor.

The boy was only locked up for a few hours before he was released to his parents.

Meanwhile, the first boy took some time to count all the money he had found in the bag and decided to buy some magic mushrooms to sell to his classmates at the local high school.

In fact, little by little he became a new drug dealer that no one had heard of before. He received shipments of drugs regularly.

Many kids bought drugs from him. They were so excited to try them and experimenting with illegal mind altering substances. Each time they bought them it was like getting a new present. Eventually, the drug dealer expanded into new formats like sticks and prescription drugs.

He explored more pharmaceutical substances like syrups that kids were keen in trying. However, one day, one of the kids who bought the new syrup get very sick to the point where families and friends thought that he may have overdosed! The drug dealer got scared and considered running away but where would he go?

The kid with the overdose landed in the hospital where a toxicology analysis was performed and identified the reason for the overdose. The drug dealer got really scared that his name would be revealed. He worried that people would be after him and lock him up.

In fact, the drug dealer became paranoid that people would come after him. He saw shadows everywhere and expected to be beat up or arrested anytime. He started feeling very guilty and sorry because he had never really intended to hurt anyone. So, eventually, he turned himself in.

The community appreciated his gesture and sent him to counseling because he was still just a teenager. He had to deal with his inner demons and do some soul searching in addition to doing community service. After a while, it starting paying off as the kid with the overdose recovered and both the drug dealer and the kid who overdosed came to learn their lessons about consequences of one's actions. So in the end, the future became a little brighter for everyone.

Session: Blood Rage:: Crazy card combo results in wild finish

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 22:38:11 +0000

by SkyRattlers

I'll try to be brief...

Final round, two players out of rage, leaving myself with 2 rage and another player with 9 rage.

On my move I play an clan upgrade that doubles all my successful quests. Leaving me with no rage. However by making this move I have eliminated my ability to pillage the final area which I have full control of. So the only way the round will end is when the player with 9 rage spends them all.

He plays his boat to the fjord next to the last unpillaged area, and starts a pillage. He can't win against my 5 warriors so his boat goes to Valhalla. But he scores 4 glory for losing a boat, and two more from the card he played in battle that grants him 2 glory for losing. I score 4 glory for winning the battle.

He then uses his bring a troop back from Valhalla upgrade to return the boat to the same Fjord and repeat the entire pillage result above. Rinse and repeat a total of 7 times. Scoring him a total of 42 points and me a total of 28 points, while the other two players can only watch helplessly.

He ends up in 3rd place with 147 points, I end up winning with 151 points, narrowly beating out the player in 2nd at 149 points, who should've have rightly won easily. Only to see it fall apart due to this crazy glitch in the game I described above.

Session: Gloomhaven:: Chronicles of Gloomhaven, part 5: Rocky Road to a Cryptic Conclusion (Spoilers for Scenario #5)

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 15:59:19 +0000

by niallsays Adventurers:*Craggy McCragface - Lv2 CragheartThanatos – Lv1 MindthiefVICTOR – Lv2 BruteIt is good to be on the road and out of Gloomhaven again, foul cluster of mutilated landscape that it is. About the only thing to appeal to a Savvas like myself is the abundance of rocks, albeit tortured into unnatural shapes. Nevertheless, I like these rocks better than the insufferable humans they harbour. That Quatryl Delice once again stayed home with some dubious excuse. I thought she had already buffed the distributor on her trap-cannon thrice this month alone. Good as it was to be on the road, yet more objectionable animals made themselves known to us in the form of some unfriendly wolves. We were forced to dispatch them, but not before they inflicted some damage on us. At least Victor was happy with a dinner of dog meat. I suppose my companions have more intelligence than these base animals… If only just. You could have worse companions with whom to travel the world and see new places.The following day we arrived at our destination - yet another unholy crypt, this time in the foothills of the Copperneck Mountains. Stepping cautiously across the threshold behind the suicidal Inox, we saw how right we were to pursue this course… Three cultists hunched over an altar were busily conjuring things that do not belong here. Just as they were finishing, the lead cultist looked up to address us:“Well, well well… We’ve been expecting you lot after that stunt you pulled at the Crypt of the Damned. You will find that we of the Ruinous Crypt are made of sterner stuff. It is time to teach you a lesson.”I paused to think for a second about what sort of person would name their home in this way… But I would have more time to reflect on this and his outrageously cliched greeting later. Right now we had a pair of demonic creatures crafted out of wispy darkness to contend with... My first encounter with night demons - of all the elemental demons, singularly the most objectionable. Abominations as they are, Wind, Flame, Earth and Ice demons are at least harnessing the true four elements. Night was never one of them, nor Sun neither. At least the Sun is useful.We sprang into action. We dropped our weapons in fear. After all the things I, Craggy McCragface have seen in this world, and the crushing desolation of being cast out by my own people, what have I left to fear? I would hope to respond more usefully to adversity. While Thanatos and I focussed on healing the dog bites we had somehow neglected to patch up previously and otherwise preparing for our foes, Victor, ever the industrious simpleton, decided he didn’t need his sword and proceeded to barrel into the bigger of the demons, sending it tumbling through one spiky trap to an inky destruction in another. He then continued to ravage everything that came at him using tooth and claw, like a wall of furry doom. Inspired, Thanatos shoved the other night demon into a trap, destroying it. We swiftly dispatched a pair of cultists while the third, correctly perceiving his own inadequacy, animated an inconvenient pile of living bones for reinforcements. Thanatos tore him to shreds, while I smote the skeleton mightily, dashing it to splinters against a pile of boulders I had fortunately placed[...]

Session: Rory's Story Cubes:: A new path

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 15:07:59 +0000

by provence

I just got off a work call where I heard about people who were mean to each other in a work environment versus being loving and caring. So let's roll some story cubes and see what story we can come up with about mean people in an office environment...

Once upon a time, there was an office environment where there was a very dominant angry man. He may not have been consciously aware of it but he thought too much and felt caged in and and angry. Despite wanting to be creative, many of his ideas were not "out of the box".

One good day, he enviously watched a young creative person who rarely meddled with office politics. She was happy and kind most of the time and her ideas were quite original. He wondered what her secret was? In fact her secret trick, or superpower, what that she used the Headspace meditation app and listened to soothing music to remain as calm and inspired as possible. Meditative practices were like medicine to her.

Meditation allowed her to take a closer look at her thoughts and feelings, realizing that she wasn't her thoughts or her emotions. Through meditation she discovered and experienced that, in fact, we are not separate but one. We all have similar DNA and come from stardust. Hence, instead of looking at differences in people, she trained herself to look for commonalities.

Over time and everyday, through meditation, she was able to let go of negative emotions accumulated from the present but also the past. She was able to see them as an illusion and not who she really was. That's how she was able to unpack some of the past emotional and spiritual baggage and release it gently like smoke rather than explode and erupt in other peoples' faces.

So when the angry man asked the young creative person how was it possible to be so consistently calm she responded that meditation was a key for her. She recommended to not be like sheep, like everyone else, but rather spend a little time alone with oneself everyday rather than being distracted by all the internal and external drama that is so easy to be exposed to from all directions. She suggested that maybe, to kick-start his practice, he should go on a retreat?

A short time later, knowing that deep down he was a real pest to himself and others due to his explosions of anger, he decided to take on the challenge and face himself.

Although, meditation was a roller coaster for him, as his thoughts and emotions drove him crazy, over time, things started to stabilize in his head and heart. He was able to be more focused, have more ideas, a little kinder and realized that he was not who he thought he was. He was something a lot bigger and more beautiful: the same light that shines in all of us!

So when he returned to the office, he was a lot less crabby, he felt healed and gained a new sense of direction and path in the world!

Session: Massive Darkness:: Sylvan Walks in the Dark

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 15:07:38 +0000

by Old Dwarf #11 in my Purge the Mirrors Campaign-this time it's Sylvan turn to tryhis luck in the Tutorial Quest.Again as noted in the other Quests in this series my MD Game usesthe Midnight RPG-Forge of Shadow supplement- as a backgroundsetting.Some of the MD terms are therefore changed to fit the background.Legates=NecromancersCaptain-Agents-----------------------------------------------------------------------Ceannai Way Ward,Stone HillEarly Morning, Shareel 6th, 5YSSylvan made a series of muffled raps on the alley door andwas quickly admitted by Maila the Herbalist to her shop.The Elf Ranger aware that the Legates keep the shop underwatch and hated to put Maila at risk. The herbalist was the closest thing to a healer the Resistancehad and taking unnecessary risks that would expose her tothe Shadow Church's minions would be tragic. However,a section of the underground corridor that ran beneath theCeannai Way had collapsed and the nearest access pointwas the basement of Maila's shop.After assuring Maila that he had made sure his visit wasunnoticed Sylvan lost no time in entering the basementand climbing down the false well and heading towardthe catacomb room that housed the Dark Mirror.The crude map that the King of Rags provided now showedthat the room was just up ahead . Sylvan silently movedoutside the room which had two doors. The Elf noticed thatthe door further up had the most footprints in the dust outsideit so he figured that must be where the Black Mirror was beingconstructed.Open the door his guess was right the Dark Mirror was there andso were two Dwarf Warriors . Sylvan quickly slipped around thento the adjoining room only to find that in the next room weretwo Blood Riders. He was surrounded & prepared to fight.The Dwarves recovered from their surprise and move intothe Elf's room for the attack. Sylvan manage to fend off thebrunt of the attack but still suffered a wound. The BloodRiders moved in and caught the Elf out of position givinghim another wound.To make matters worst the sound of the fighting brought aFlesh Golem up the corridor just outside the room.Sylvan now executed his plan the Dark Mirror Room wasnow undefended so using his Ranger skill he managed to eludethe Shadow Minions and run to the Dark Mirror and smash it.He also broke open a trunk by the mirror and found a Fire Bow.With his Quest accomplished he fled the room and ran to theCorridor junction to make his exit.The Dwarves and Blood Riders gave pursuit along with the FleshGolem but Sylvan easily out distanced them.The frantic shouts to raise the alarm did bring out a Dwarf Captainbut he arrived too late to block the Elf's escape.Sylvan took one look at his pursuers and quickly slipped down thedark corridor to make his escape.As a reward for success the Resistance Armory was opened and Sylvantraded his Long sword for a great Sword.------------------------------------------------------------------------Well Slippery is powerful, especially in a short Quest. The Elf was ableto maneuver his way through to Mobs & an Agent. He did have to survivecombat with both Mobs but only lost a couple of wounds then it was offto the Exit.Poor Sibyl in an earlier Quest I was handling Slippery wrong ( until aPost here on BG[...]

Session: Star Trek: Ascendancy – Borg Assimilation:: Second Borg Solo Game: Romulans

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 01:45:21 +0000

by chas59 STAR TREK ASCENDANCY SECOND BORG SOLO: ROMULANSBy ChasThis was a six turn game which unfolded as almost the exact opposite of the first solo game I played with the Federation. As that game, the Home System and the Transwarp Hub were placed 18” apart, and the Optional Rules Extra Starting Resources and Focused Research were used. For the Romulans, their weakness Suspicion and their starting Tech Romulan Disruptors will have no effect, as there is no Trading and all players get First Fire against the Borg. ***The initial Romulan Exploration went very well, with 1 colony fully developed of the five new worlds found. The active player had set up a nice economic base, but not yet taken advantage of it. The game was looking good, especially since the Borg across the board were starting out very slowly from the Transwarp Hub. But suddenly on Turn Three the main game crisis arose with the Borg Exploration Card “Assimilation Civ Level Two, which brought the first Borg Cube right into Sherman's Planet and into First Contact, before the system could be developed, threatening the adjacent one which had not been developed either. Both of these planetary systems could have provided a Culture Node, but it was not to be! Instead, the Borg Cube was now only two systems away from Romulus, the Home System. This was more the kind of disaster I had anticipated in my first solo play.Abandoning the single scout ship which had triggered this deadly card to its fate, the Romulans used their last command to build a Star Base on the home system. With only one Cube on the board and no exploration yet out from the TW Hub, this unexpected card play turned the game right around, and much too early! As Sherman's Planet was assimilated, a second Cube from the Transwarp Hub explored another planetary system and turned it into Borg World Number Two. As the 3 ship Romulan Mining Fleet, which had previously invaded a Civ Level 2 World and then mined it, was the only fleet for a faction which was still at Ascendancy Level One, it feel back also to the Home System to prepare a desperate defense. I had anticipated making the Romulan game about tech development to get their culture, but the income was now only two of each resource, later 3 Culture. But having to put resources toward initial exploration and now defense, they were unable to raise their Ascendancy Level from its beginning level. And now the Romulans had to wait for raising their weapons up again ,they had previously raised it once). Nor were they able at this time to develop more tech. So far they had on their useless starting tech and the Forced Quantum Singularity Drive, which would be of no help in the current crisis. Started on development and future development were the Romulan Disruptors (2 of 3 research steps completed) and the Imperial Science Initiative, which was never begun! The last irreplaceable scout ship was destroyed in exploring a hazardous new system, as four more single ships were desperately manufactured at the Romulus. Then horribly the first Cube entered the Home System, as no blocking ship had been available to hold it at bay. Luckily it could not attack yet.On the sixth Romula[...]

Session: Brezhnev's War: NATO vs. the Warsaw Pact in Germany, 1980:: Turn 1

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 01:42:15 +0000

by tdraicer

End of Turn 1 of first solo playtest of Brezhnev's War.

The Soviets divided their initial forces into five Fronts. The Northern Front consists of 2 Soviet and 3 East German divisions: their immediate task is to overrun Hamburg before the Germans can mobilize Territorials in its defense.

The North Central Front consists of 3 Soviet and 3 EG divisions: it's immediate objective is to attack the West Germans at Hanover, capturing various German cities en route.

The Central Front consists of the 8th Guards Army reinforced by the 34 Guard Artillery Division and 3 additional Soviet divisions. It's immediate task is to capture Kassel and eliminate forward NATO units.

The South-Central Front consists of 12 Soviet divisions. It's goal is to destroy the NATO forces around the Fulda Gap and drive then drive on Frankfurt.

Finally the Southern Front with the Czechs and four Soviet divisions aims to attack between Nurnberg and Regensburg to threaten Munich and guard the flank of the Soviet center.

The Soviet has three air units concentrated in support of the two Central Fronts. Their ECM are used to disrupt potential NATO counterattacks (forcing a Fight/Move sequence on NATO).

I decide to hold back the Soviet paras as a force in being, figuring the threat might be more powerful than the reality.

Hamburg falls (it cannot be defended if the Soviets are willing to devote four units to its capture). The North Central Front reduces the German panzer division at Hanover, but not only suffers a Soviet reduced Mech unit, it also has to disband an EG division that showed dubious loyalty.

The Central Front captures Kassel and eliminates the WG forces defending it, as well as the 27 FJ Brigade northwest of the city.

The South Central Front smashes the US and WG forces around the Fulda Gap, sending 3 units to the deadpile.

Finally the Southern Front eliminates the 4J Brigade but has to disband 2 unreliable Czech divisions.

Nato responds to this shocking surprise attack by forming a line from Bremerhaven along the Wesser River and then southwest west of Paderborn. The forest on the Soviet Central Front is left undefended for now-NATO just doesn't have the forces to cover it.

The US makes the painful decision not to defend Frankfurt (apart from a reinforcing brigade that just arrives there): I would almost certainly lose three US divisions if I tried. Instead they form a strong corps at Darmstadt.

In the south the Germans abandon Regensburg and fall back on Munich.

The arrival of substantial NATO reinforcements, particularly the French, provides hope to a battered NATO defense.

Session: Heroes of Normandie:: Heroes of Normandie: Solus - Core Set Mission 3 - Plain Carnage

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 19:27:50 +0000

by TheMadWelshWizard So, after far too long I’ve finally gotten around to getting back to writing the next edition of my solo Heroes of Normandie (HoN) rules. I’ve decided to focus on the HoN Core Box scenarios as once the rules are down for this then they can (technically) be adapted for any other scenario/expansion with a bit of common sense as I’m grouping abilities/equipment etc. The previous name, Alone Against the Tiles (AAtT), was spun off from my earlier efforts writing solo rules for various CCGs, notably Mythos (See ‘Alone Against the Mythos’ here on BGG - and Shadowrun (‘Alone Against the Sprawl’ - not yet published). However, with this new focus on the HoN Core box and every intention of releasing these for WH40k: Heroes of Black Reach when it comes out I’ve renamed them “Solus” with this first release being (somewhat predictably) HoN:Solus. To make things slightly confusing I had kept the numbering from AAtT though so the initial HoN:Solus release is v2.0.The rules are already pretty robust from playtesting and feedback from the original AAtT version but I wanted things to be a bit clearer as sometimes the AI would do an odd thing as there was no differentiation for specific objectives so I broke down the old single flowchart into a series of smaller ones based on what the AI is trying to achieve when you activate a unit. With these changes now mostly complete and all the special abilities and items split out into types depending on how they affect play I’m playing through each of the scenarios in the base HoN box playing as the US to see how they hold up. My original plan was to play as written but there’s still a few wrinkles so I’m editing and adding as I go, mostly clarifying things to be honest. Once I’ve played the ten HoN Core scenarios as the US my intention is to publish what I have before playing through them again as the Germans, again making errata as I go. (Although I really want to get back into Shadow Over Normandie so might jump to that first, we’ll see). The other thing I’ve considered doing is smaller scenario specific Solus rule booklets. In these I’d put all the rules you need for the units and setup in a specific scenario into a file allowing you to download and follow along with the rules as they adapt over the core missions. If there is interest in this let me know!So enough prevarication here’s some lovely photos showing how I setup HoN Core Box scenario 003, “Plain Carnage”.In HoN:Solus you need to label every AI Faction unit with a small marker/token.[ImageID=3927770largePhoto001][ImageID=3927771largePhoto002]In ”Plain Carnage” you roll to see who deploys first, in my game the AI Germans won the roll so I followed the steps in HoN:Solus for deploying them. Basically, you number each space in the deployment area and roll randomly for each AI Faction unit. [ImageID=3927772largePhoto005]However, I noticed after I started placing them that the German Panzer can only really be deployed in one place to be any use so I have added these notes to the Solus brief for thi[...]

Session: Mythic Battles: Pantheon:: 4 player game testing out 2 propposed vaiants. Lets see how well they worked!

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 13:35:12 +0000

by MajaiofDreams So we did a session the other night to playtest a couple variants that I have proposed in the forums, and I would like to share the results with you.Variant 1. Larger armies. Instead of 14 recruitment points for 4 player, we tried 18.Variant 2. Mandatory god slaying variant. After board set up, each player removes a single omphalos of their choice from anywhere on the map. And in addition, no player can absorb a 4th omphalos until a god is slain. Also, gods drop an omphalos when they are killed.Also, we played with divinity cards for even more fun.So I will report on the session and then give the thoughts on the variant below.So without further delay… We played in Olympus as it is the most familiar board.We drafted our 18 point armies!Player 1 Chose Apollo and drafted only units that no one has played.Nemean Lion, Lycaon.Eurytion, Cierce and her wolves.Toxotai.He wanted to try a powerful ranged team that will support the lion as it ravaged the field.Player 2 Chose Athena who appears to be one of if not the most popular gods in the game. People love her 3 AoW cards and her strategist ability.Colchidian Dragon.Theseus, Jason.Harpies.He went hero heavy for AoW cards and planned to mass activate as much as possible.Player 3 (Me) Chose Hecate.Dragon of Thebes.Orpheus, Perseus.Infernal Artillerymen.I wanted to do team lock down. Perseus and Orpheus will force foes to play tons of AoW cards to activate.Player 4 Chose Aphrodite.Charybdis ***As of playing this game, we were unaware of the HUGE misprint on her stat card and all the ambiguous abilities of hers. So please be aware all uses of Charybdis may have been wrong and are pending official rulings.Agamemnon, Cecrops.Hoplites.She wanted to see how powerful a 5rp monster can be. Starting areas were chosen and all players removed a single omphalos close to a different player, so there were only 9 on the board and every player only had about 2 comfortably near them as opposed to 3. We knew this was going to be a fight!The first round begins. Everyone deployed between 1 to 2 units.Player 1 brought out Apollo and the lion right away. Player 2 simply brought in Jason to start taking advantage of his extra card draw. He used him in a previous game to great effectiveness.Player 3 brought out the Dragon of Thebes and conserved his AOW cards for his unit’s abilities.Player 4 deployed Agamemnon and the dreaded Charybdis!Round 2 was more deploying. The only unit to be aggressive was the Lion. It charged to grab an omphalos while Lycaon also appeared.Player 2 brought in Theseus and the Colchidian Dragon.Player 3 brought in Orpheus.And player 4 brought in the lovely Aphrodite.Then players started getting aggressive. Apollo and the lion ran to get Omphalos and Eurytion deployed while Lycaon ran towards Aphrodite. His plan was to do some damage and heal his wounds by getting kills. Athena emerged and Sent both Theseus, Jason and the Dragon to get Omphalos.Hecate emerged as well and sent Orpheus to get an omphalos for her while her dragon stayed still. Much to her displeasure!Aphrodite also sent her units out to grab omphalos. Agame[...]

Session: Vietnam 1965-1975:: Me Myself And I Campaign Summer 66 turn 2 summary

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 13:33:00 +0000

by Dren608

Summer 1966 - Turn 2:
FWA: 3 riverine, 24 Air-mobile, 36 Air(57 total), US Replacements at 21, ARVN Replacements at 63

NLF: NVA Replacements at 31, VC Replacements at 24

FWA Special ops: a few isolated units on hold

NLF Special ops: A few blockers on patrol

FWA Strategic movement:none that I can see to do.

Turn 2 Operations:
NLF: got strategic moves to set my groups to threaten populace
and run away with units almost surrounded
one attack 1st VC division attacked 4621(Plus 4 Air so - ARVN 47/22 - 2-1 in mountains
Mod die = 5 each loose 1 +2 pursuit - ARVN retreats to 4722, VC can't advance end of op

US: Many S&D managed to bag 39 VC battalion Equivalents total (includes turn 1),
Still couldn't move those Regiments in the Mountains of I Corps
Cleared a good portion of the map for pacification and only
Free Fired where it really didn't matter for pacification. Did suffer another 2 Air-mobile losses, so
the 6 I added at the inter-phase got taken out - I think they came with bulls eye painted underneath (image)
The big kicker was US replacement losses, I was down to 10 by end of the turn (11 losses)
and the ARVN replacements down to 51 (12 losses). I would get a +2 pursuit, would have say +3
with just US unit(s) and FP to make 5-1 odds but the modified die roll seemed to like "10" so
I would get a VC battalion but lose a US replacement.
I lost 19 US replacement this last season, and 22 ARVN replacements (total over 2 turns)
Will need to watch that in the future and maybe not be so aggressive with US only attacks (unless
the out come is for sure an "11"). Let's see how the fall 66 inter-phase goes.

Session: Next War: Poland:: Strategic Surprise - When Vladimir went to Vilnius

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 13:32:17 +0000

by Rick Dreckitt

Hi all,

I've started playing through the Strategic Surprise scenario solo. I've previously played India-Pakistan and it's been very interesting to see the differences between the two games. I've decided to do a fairly broad strokes writeup with photos from the end of each turn - hope you enjoy it!

NATO has been lulled into a false sense of security, with America busy in East Asia and European NATO allies distracted by Brexit and Mediterranean refugees. Russia is roiled by increasing internal political difficulties, and Putin sees an opportunity for a short, sharp, victorious war - gambling that President Trump's lukewarm attitude towards NATO will delay any American response....

Optional Rules: additional F-35 x 3, Combat support restrictions for both sides, refugees, Carrier Air Wing interoperability, Coup de main against Gotland, Bornholm and Narva, Russian Chemical Weapons, Aegis Ashore, US Pre-positioned Equipment. No net change in VP.

NATO arrival drm: random roll gave +1, 8VP Non-Allied

Season: Autumn

Turn Zero

A warm, pleasant autumn day in Eastern Europe is rudely interrupted by a storm of Russian missile strikes (5 Cruise & 5 Ballistic!) Cruise missiles target the Aegis Ashore installation at Redzikowo and the American equipment depot at Powidz Airbase, but are largely ineffective against the hardened targets. Airfields in Germany and Denmark take a pounding, with heavy losses including the American F-16CJ squadron. President Trump is outraged by this betrayal from his "friend" and orders US troops to Europe post haste.

Caught with barely 12 hours notice, Polish forces are still at their peacetime stations, with only the 16th Pomeranian division and the 18th Recon Regiment forward deployed. The only NATO units on location are the German 291 Jager Battalion, supporting Latvian forces in Riga; the Italian 66th Airmobile Battalion, co-located in Bialystok with the 18th Recon; the US 2nd BCT, 1st Cavalry in Vilnius; and a squadron of Belgian F-16's covering the Baltic Air Policing Mission.

Even as NATO processes casualty reports from the airbases, more bad news arrives. The Polish Navy is forced to retreat to coastal waters as Russian submarine and surface assets secure the whole Baltic. Urgent appeals for help are made by the Estonian and Danish governments. The little green men - identified by NATO intelligence as soldiers from the Russian 98th Guards Airborne Division and the 336th Naval Infantry Brigade - have seized control of Narva, with the support of local "revolutionaries."

Meanwhile, the 7th Air Assault Division has conducted an airmobile assault from a converted civilian cargo ship and seized Bornholm island. The Sound is now untenable for any NATO warship. Backchannel communications from the Swedes report a similar situation on Gotland....

Session: Everything vs. Everything:: The session with Superman and The Flash that went as well as the Justice League movie did

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 13:10:10 +0000

by DocSavage2001 So, in between reading the Bios: Megafauna rulebook and gluing Craton placards together (there's a phrase I never expected to type in my life - "craton placards"), I decided I had time to save the universe from ultimate destruction at the hands of The Director.After selecting my team and selecting a team for The Director, I though this was easily in the bag for me and I kinda felt sorry for The Director. I debated whether it was even fair I was playing on Easy mode (only one substitute for the Director), but I have lost enough that I didn't feel bad about a possible laugher for myself for once. Famous last words.Still, things looked good in the beginning:The Director's TeamMickey Mouse - Primary attack does 2 damage, has an always active ability that was useless this game since Director had no chars that did Magical damage.Megatron - Does 10 damage to characters with 5 Boost tokens, which kind of combos with Lex Luthor (See below), then 1 damage to opposing char. I didn't plan to boost much with Superman and The Flash so this was OK.Lex Luthor - Non boostable power to do d6 damage to random opponent which gives that opponent equal number of Boost tokens. He could set someone up for Megatron. My primary worry.Sylar from Heroes - Only 1 damage to opposing characters. He has an awesome Always Active ability but I didn't see him killing any of my non-Machine characters either.The Waitress (from a Keri Russell movie I've never heard of, and the card doesn't even have Keri Russell on it!) - She hands out pie tokens that do damage during following upkeep steps - my number #2 target.Sub - ??? - How bad could it be? More famous last words! Dave's TeamSuperman - Flies around doing 5 (+ Boost) Damage to people. Takes half damage (which I forgot to apply! I just realized! DOH!) AND gives me an extra card draw each turn (which I DID remember).R2-D2 - Primary ability is healing, but useless this game as he would also be healing Megatron and Lex Luthor (Machine characters) and I don't want that. He is here primarily to fuel The Flash with Cartoon energy, turning ALL my cards into Hearts if I want.The Flash - For 2 Cartoon Energy, get a Speed token and do damage equal to Speed tokens. Since they are NOT Boost tokens, he's invulnerable to Megatron with the same benefit as if he HAD Boost tokens! Also can ding an opponent during upkeep.Anna from Frozen - Kind of useless this game as no one on the Director's team would be putting non-Boost tokens on her. But she can move around and get out of the way for Superman and K.I.T.T.K.I.T.T. - K.I.T.T. can move around and then move someone else AND drop a Boost token on them while moving them.SUB - Claudia Donovan - Does only one damage, but can steal Boost tokens for my team AND grab any five Energy from my deck at a cost of six of any kind of Energy. I was holding her back until I got rid of Luthor/Megatron combo.Oh, and I was doing one other thing that I picked up from Kyle. Instead of using two types of Director strategies, I just shuffled up ALL the Direc[...]

Session: Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden:: Holland '44 Northern Scenario AAR

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 13:09:05 +0000

by jrd23

This is a description of a solo game of the Northern Scenario for Holland '44 version 1.0a (available for download at H'44 Northern Scenario.)

Turn 1: 16 September PM

Allied landings went fairly smoothly (one S1 result in each Division). Grave Bridge was quickly captured when an assault from both ends overwhelmed the infantry company defending it (S1). The drive of 2 Battalions of the 508th Rgiment into Nijmegen was delayed by a brisk firefight with KG Runge (EX).
The 82nd also discovered a flak battery in the woods near Groesbeek, but failed to destroy it (ENG). Mook was found to be occupied by a small garrison which quickly surrendered.
1st Airborne outflanked KG Krafft and attempted to destroy it (4:1, DR), but Krafft managed to mount a determined defence and his unit survived.
Only one unit of the 406th Division was activated so it remained off map.

Turn 2: 16 September Night

A string of unlucky die rolls meant 82nd Airborne had still not found an intact bridge over the Waal-Maas canal by the end of the night. In Nijmegen, 1/508 launched a costly assault on KG Henke guarding the Waal road bridge (2:1, A1/DR), but the Germans mounted a determined defence and retained control of the bridge. 2/508 drove a German alarm company out of the suburbs and back towards the rail bridge (2:1, DR). Fortunately, 504th Regiment was now in range to attack Nijmegen the following day.

1st Airborne attacked a training battalion defending Arnhem Bridge and routed it after a brisk fight (4:1, Ex). A second attack on Krafft's battalion drove it back (2:1, DR) and allowed the British to secure their position in Arnhem. The rail bridge over the Rhine was blown, however.

The Germans launched a powerful attack from Ede, and managed to drive back the Borders back across Ginkel Heath (2:1: D1). Grabner rushed South to reinforce Nijmegen, and the Germans also managed to destroy the rail bridge there. The 406th Division gained another two units and its artillery and launched an unsuccessful attack against the 508th Regiment to the South of Groesbeek (2:1: A1/ENG).

Session: Star Wars: Rebellion:: Mon Mothma is a Traitor - A Rebel Mission Debriefing

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 20:49:02 +0000

by the_stag I wanted to write up a long battle report about my session as the rebellion last night, but we got started late and ended well past my bedtime. I'll break down the highlights for you:I managed to start with Mon Calamari and gained Loyalty on Utapau on round 1 with no imperials adjacent to those systems, so I got a nice little boost to start the game with.I placed the rebel base on Dantooine even though the empire started with Mygeeto subjugated. There was only 1 Assault Carrier, 1 TIE fighter, 1 AT-ST and 1 stormtrooper on that system. I placed 2 speeders and 4 troopers on the rebel base to compensate.One the first round the empire captured Mon Mothma when her attempt to "Incite Rebellion" didn't end up in a victory. Then on round two, on the first turn of the Empire, Mon Mothma felt the "Lure of the Dark Side" and was unable to resist the temptation. Palpatine rolled a 2+2 while Mon Mothma rolled a 3... so frustrating that I had no leaders in the pool to assist.I never saw the true value of MM until I didn't have her. Especially since later in the game I got "Establish Trade Relations" and "Public Uprising".Also on round 1, I played "Rapid Mobilization" in case I needed it, but mostly so I could see 4 systems that would remain at the bottom of the deck for the remainder of the game. Hoth was the only planet I saw that might be useful later.The empire never moved any units to Dantooine, they did move all over the board subjugating just about everything except Utapau and Mon Calamari. I can only guess those probe cards had already been revealed.I managed to bring the reputation marker down to 12 by the time we were on round 6, not a great ratio, but I had "Crippling Blow", "Return of the Jedi", "Death Star Plans", "Heart of the Empire" and others in my hand of objectives. I also had "Hidden Fleet", "Public Uprising" and "Lead the Strike Team" in my available missions.The time to strike was at hand.There was a sizable force on Ord Mantell including 1 Super Star Destroyer and 1 Star Destroyer, and just a few more stormtroopers on Mygeeto than there was before. As the last mission played by either side in round 6, I used my "Hidden Fleet" and dumped 2 Mon Cal Cruisers, 4 Corellian Corvettes, 5 X-Wings, 6 Y-Yings, 2 Rebel Troopers and 2 Airspeeders on Ilum. During the Deploy Units step, the only thing the empire could do was to place 1 AT-ST and one stormtroper on Mygeeto, and 2 stormtroopers on Ord Mantell. I placed 2 more troopers on the rebel base to make the total # of units on the base at 4 Rebel troopers.First turn of round 7, I activated Mygeeto with Luke Skywalker (Jedi) and the empire decided not to play a leader there. I also decided it was now or never, and I moved all 4 rebel troopers from the rebel base to Mygeeto without having to reveal the base, even though the empire knew once that happened (I also still had a fallback on Hoth since we were down to less than 8 probe cards and I had 2 leaders on "Rapid Mobilization" and I h[...]

Session: Dungeon Degenerates: Hand of Doom:: 4 player

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 19:49:29 +0000

by DeathJester23

Normally I play with my girlfriend with only 1 character each and we love it but we get slaughtered after awhile.

Last weekend we got up to the last mission of our campaign with our 4 player group and the game felt 'breezy'. Our 2 friends were new to the game and loved it but no one was defeated, only 2 fights got us worried, no one ever attempted to escape... Half way through the second mission I secretly just shuffled in all the value 3 monsters into their decks to up the challenge. It did add an element of extra tactical planning but the party still slaughtered everything in their path, at that point being pretty well geared and skilled.

I think the characters just really complemented each other ability and skillwise. The characters were the Dishonoured Knight, Banished Sorcerer, Jack Slasher and the Void Witch.
Most enemies jumped on the Knight allowing all the other characters to target and kill them off. The Void Witch had great party support with Sixth Sense. The Banished Sorcerer had Mend Wounds Mastered. Jack Slasher killed things really well with Backstab Mastered and the Dishonoured Knight soaked up all the wounds.

We had to save it there for next time but when I go back to playing with my girlfriend I think we will play 2 characters each, take 2 random weaknesses and add in all the value 3 monsters from the start. Maybe it was just luck, but it was great fun nonetheless.

Session: Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition:: Twilight Imperium 4 - First play - 6 players

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:56:08 +0000

by pangias I finally ended up playing TI4 during christmas holidays. We were all newbies with the game/universe. I knew TI only by reputation and the TI3 Huge box. So in the End we made a session of 5 hours/3 rounds to learn the game (we played actually 4 rounds) and one full game the next saturday which started at 2pm and ended a little bit after midnight. I cannot gives a review of the game (way not enough games under my belt) but give my initial impression.In terms of players: Yin brotherhood, Sol Federation, Embers of Muat, Naalu collective,The Xxcha Kingdom, the mentak coalition.Rules: they are easy and logical to learn, and caused no problem in our game except for the print mistake of Hyper metabolism, (thanks internet for the direct clarification) and we made 2 mistakes, we gave planet not exhausted after a fight, and we can score more than 1 public objectives in a round. All the rules so far are quite clear, but the amount of them makes us do mistakes but i guess it's a part of the learning curve.Components: Amazing quality, well worth the price. I only dislike the insert to sort your tokens but, it's not such a big deal. Game Experience: We were blown away, sincerely it was like a dream come true boardgame. I talked with some friends who were not a part of this session and i was telling them Stories, it felt cinematic, like our own movie. It's something i have not experienced with other games. I think it's not common. For example: "And turns three i took control of the center of power of the galaxy, but embers of muat send his Warsun against me and we had a huge fight to control the system, between my hybrid crystal fighters and his war sun....and the HCF won..." it's a Star Wars movie not a cold boardgame you ends up telling to your friends. The sensation is unique.(for example i played Eclipse and the experience was so cold in comparison to me)Basically, even if it's a behemoth, all of us wants to play again asap. Even if we were all new to Twiligth imperium. Replayability: With the constant changes to the galaxy you build and the very different races which requires very different way to play, it seems that the game has everything to hit the table multiple times. Strategy: With action cards/dice rolls, it's a game where i found that you can mitigate luck but not eradicate it. Our best tactician lost a fight which seemed impossible to lose and he didn't win. So, if you are a good player you are not sure to win you simply increase the odds which is great actually.You have to accept your destiny, sometimes fate will not be on your side...Barrier of entry:We are all seasoned players with tons of games under our belt, i think that it's really not a friendly game to introduce to a new gamer. Nothing is complex, but it's too huge to chew for non/new-gamer.The length: 10hours is long, and with guys in their mid forties like us, it's very hard to deal with. We will probably be able to play i[...]

Session: RAF:: Operation Eagle Scenario Playthrough

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:53:58 +0000

by Vorlon66 A playthrough of the short scenario from the rules covering 11 Auguat-17 August 1940 simulating Unternehmen Adlerangriff ("Operation Eagle Attack"). Aldertag (Eagle Day) occurred on 12 August 1940 - 1 day earlier than historically.11 AUGUST 1940Priorities: High - Ports, Radar. Medium - Airfields. Low - Cities, Industry.Weather: ClearLuftwaffe Effort: NormalRaids:Major - WeymouthMinor - Biggin Hill - 1 Do17/2 eliminated.End of Day VP: +412 AUGUST 1940 - Aldertag (Eagle Day)Priorities: High - Ports, Radar. Medium - Airfields. Low - Cities, Industry.Weather: ClearLuftwaffe Effort: All Out13 AUGUST 1940Priorities: High - Ports, Radar. Medium - Airfields. Low - Cities, Industry.Weather: CloudyLuftwaffe Effort: LightRaids:Minor - Biggin HillMinor - Beachy Head - 1 He 111/3 Gruppen eliminated.Minor - TangmereEnd of Day: +1 VP14 AUGUST 1940Priorities: High - Ports, Radar. Medium - Airfields. Low - Cities, Industry.Weather: CloudyLuftwaffe Effort: NormalRaids:Major - Tangmere - 1 DamageMajor - Biggin Hill - 6 damage. 1 Hurricane (No. 501) eliminated.Minor - PlymouthEvent - Change of Priorities:New Priorities: High - Airfields; Medium - Cities, Industry, Ports; Low - Radar.Major - Kenley - no damage. - (+) Bomber Gruppen diverted to Brighton - 1 Damage. End of Day VP: -515 AUGUST 1940Priorities: High - Airfields; Medium - Cities, Industry, Ports; Low - Radar.Weather: CloudyLuftwaffe Effort: LightRaids:Minor - Debden - Raid diverted for all to: - Dunwich - No damageMajor - Hornchurch - Raid diverted for all to: - Canterbury - 1 Damage, 1 Do17/2 eliminated.End of Day VP: -216 AUGUST 1940 (Storms)No RaidsEnd of Day VP: 017 AUGUST 1940Priorities: High - Airfields; Medium - Cities, Industry, Ports; Low - Radar.Weather: CloudyLuftwaffe Effort: NormalRaids:Minor - Duxford - 1 Do17 eliminated, Weather changes to Clear. Major - Middle Wallop - 2 Ju88 eliminated (0) diverted to Oxford - Oxford - 2 damageMajor - Hornchurch - 4 He111/2, 1 Do17/2, 1Ju88/2 eliminatedEnd of Scenario VP: + 18 [...]

Session: Torpedo Raiders:: Simple, fun, and you get to torpedo ships!

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:53:06 +0000

by Lunga

Finally dug this little game out and played it. Very light game, best if you have a good imagination when playing it. I just played the basic game trying to sink or damage ships chosen by a die roll. The first game me and my little Swordfish were up against a cruiser, I imagined it was a German cruiser (RN intelligence has yet to sort out just which one I attacked...). I flew up very close before dropping the torpedo but it was worth the intense ride in. Took 4 damage (11 is the max damage a Swordfish can take).

The torpedo hit and sunk the cruiser!

Played again, against another yet-to-be-named German cruiser. This time the ride in was rough. I was hit numerous times by some intense flak, taking 6 damage total before dropping the torpedo at medium range. But I had held my plane very steady so it lined up very well, much like the last one (In your turn if you must play a diamond to be able to drop a torpedo. If you play a diamond two turns in a row before the drop, it lessens the range category by one- hence a medium range drop becomes short. This simulates lining up better on the target, which BTW makes it easier for the flak to hit you and cause damage, so there is risk doing this.).

Alas, it was close but just missed the cruiser (I drew a King, one of two cards that result in a miss at this range.)

A simple, quick little game. Certainly nothing in depth but a nice diversion. I'll play one of the scenarios next, which require a certain number of games to be played (individual torpedo runs) and you keep track of damage and sinkings to determine your overall score.

Scenarios are Taranto, Bismarck, Pearl Harbor, Force Z and Midway. Game has counters for Swordfish, Betty, Kate, Nell and Devastator.

Session: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2:: Delta Force - June - Risk it all! [End of June SPOILERS]

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:52:32 +0000

by FinalAttack The following recount the tales of Delta Force. We aim for survival and optimization. It be a brief overview of our game, focused on big game moments, narrow escapes and strategic discussion.Introducing Delta Force: Odin (Labourer) - played Baileys and milk.Pink Eye (Instructor) - Played by Morgan Freeman.Tethys (Farmer) Played Rob them all.Deadpool (Administrator) - Played Danny-boy. Ripley (Radio Operator) - zzzzzz-------------------Pre-game strategy:Deck tracking - we need to track what to expect from the infection deck. 2 people will track it.------------------June, first attempt:Players: Bailey as Odin (Laborer), Danny as Pink Eye (Instructor), Rob as Tethys (Farmer)Ration level: 0Objectives: create 3 new supply centers [mandatory], Recon 1 area, Connect two cities, conduct 2 searchesGame plays out and no problems nothing serious is happening. We are managing problems exceptionally well.With Deadpool's ability to Recon with one less card we Recon Middle East. We were hoping for some sort of new buff or ability. Instead we got HOLLOW MEN. Hollow men - cards added to the infection discard pile at the start of the game. Instead of removing a cube we place a hollow man. These figures are character roadblocks. You basically have to take a scar when leaving an area with a hollow man. Also at the end of the game hollow men will reduce pop by 1. This makes the degradation of population basically unstoppable. On the upside losing via plague cubes will be less prevalent.Hollow men. Not good. But a problem for next game.This game was wrapping up. We could close out the game but we had potential to go one more round. One more round and throw out some player cards. We are winning, let's live dangerously. Risk it all?! Sure. As the round progressed it was dawning that this wasn’t a great idea. We inoculated the cards but three places got hit by plagues. Being cocky doesn’t pay. Later running the numbers we probably risked it all for a 30% chance to throw the game. But we did win.Meanwhile, in Anananananataviariata (madagascar) we discovered another haven. One we’d need to investigate next game.Upgrades:Upgrade population - with the advent of hollow men we need to keep all population at 2 to prevent them from falling, or conduct some emergency fixes with supply centres. Jacksonville and Istanbul were beefed up to 2.Break the chain - both cards were added to random infection cards that were not targeted for inoculation.An extra free ferry or drive action - we gave this perk to Tethys our farmer as he was likely to be a key fixer of problems with the Hollow Men.Strategic Discussion:Lost Lab in Johannesburg - based on the co-ordinates this is the location of the next lab. It’s in the deck now. Lets search this as a priority.Optimal placement of supply centres - goal, all cities are one step away f[...]

Session: Mythic Battles: Pantheon:: Impressions and session notes after my first 5 games

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:22:46 +0000

by sjtollie Hey there all,Last Friday I received the second half of my shipment (containing the base box and Pandora and all small box expansions) and it was finally time to start playing. I rang up a buddy of mine who'd been itching to play as well and we came together that same night to get our feet wet.Game 1: Introductory scenarioI chose to play as Zeus, with my Hydra and Spartans and on the other end of the board I was stared down by Ares, accompanied by Achilles and some hoplites.We got a feeling for the rules and especially the talents and iconographies of the god powers were something we needed a minute to really grasp. I sent out my Hydra far up the field to engage Achilles and even though both Ares and Achilles did significant Damage, it was not enough to bring the beast down. Zeus focused on gathering omphalos, blasting away with his lightning every time he had the chance. In the end I won out by grabbing the second omphalos for the win.Note: We completely forgot about the retaliation rule and I think half of the time we forgot to draw cards at the beginning of our turn. All in all it was definitely a learning game.Game 2: 2 players, Hades vs ZeusNext up, we decided we wanted to try our hands at our first draft, opting to just use the contents of the base box for now. I ended up with the following force:[ImageID= 3925733]I faced down a force led by Zeus, with Achilles, Cerberus, Leonidas and his Spartans. Zeus immediately went Omphalos hunting and I spent my first activations taking advantage of Odysseus' abilities as much as possible to gain a bit of a card advantage. This proved important as on some key turns I was able to make big double plays. Man of the match was definitely Heracles. With one attack he decimated the Spartans and almost took down Leonidas with a well placed tree to the face. The minotaur and him were also incremental in dealing vicious blows to Zeus, with his Son ending his father in spectacular fashion (6 wounds in one attack)Hades also got in a couple of solid hits and I really liked the way he played, staying healthy by the high amount of troops dying.Game 3: 2 players Apollo vs PersephoneA couple of days later we gathered again for another go at a skirmish, this time also using the stuff from the Pandora's box. We were a bit overwhelmed by the choices and I didn't feel prepared going into the draft. After the draft, I realized I'd made some pretty bad decisions and was doomed to lose. But I'll talk more about that later. Here's my force I ended up with.I was opposite Persephone, with Medea, Cecrops, Arachne, Dragon of thebes, and I think one more thing which I keep forgetting. I wished I would have paid more attention to the drafting process, because I was definitely outsmarted here. Persephone was hard to get to with the dragon and Cecrops always cl[...]

Session: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game:: Legendary: Play Through (November Starter League Match 1 Set up)(First Time Playing)

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:20:00 +0000

by DoesItQuest To help me quickly track, I will set abbreviations for most cards. I hope you can track my play well as I have just started tracking my games. This is also my first complete game of Legendary.Match Lineup:Match 1 Mastermind: Dr. Doom Scheme: Bathe Earth in Cosmic Rays Villain Group: Heralds of Galactus Henchmen: (3) Savage Land Mutates (SLM)Heroes: Invisible Woman (Disappearing Act-DA, Four of a Kind-4K, Unseen Rescue-UR, Invisible Barrier-IBYou may select 2 additional Heroes from the list of available Heroes. Iron Man (Repulsor Rays-RR, Arc Reactor- AR, Endless Invention-EI, Quantum Breakthrough-QB)Hawkeye (Impossible Trick Shot-TS, Quick Draw-QD, Team Player-TP, Covering Fire-CF)Max Turn Count: 20Max VP: 93Villain Deck Contents: 8 Heralds of Galactus, 3 Savage Land Mutates, 5 Strikes, 6 Twists, 1 Bystander(BY)Turn 1:First Hand: Hand: Troopers(T)*1, Agent(A)*5City: Sewers:Bank:Rooftops:Streets:Bridge:HQ: TP, QD, UR,DA, TPVillain Flip: Master Strike (return A*2 to Top), Next Flip Scheme Twist (no one to KO),Bury TP, DA added to HQ Play: A*3, Recruit QD, DA added to HQDraw: Hand: Troopers*2, Agent*4Turn 2:City: Sewers:Bank:Rooftops:Streets:Bridge:HQ: TP, DA, UR, DA, DAVillain Flip: Scheme Twist(no one to KO) Bury DA, AR added to HQPlay: A*4, Recruit DA, TPDraw: A*3, T*2, QDTurn 3:City: Sewers:Bank:Rooftops:Streets:Bridge:HQ: TP, TP, UR, DA, ARVillain Flip: Morg (replace all of HQ) QD, IB, EI, 4K, 4KPlay: QD, Draw T, A*3, Recruit QD,RR added to HQDraw: A*4,T,DATurn 4:City: Sewers: MorgBank:Rooftops:Streets:Bridge:HQ: RR, IB, EI, 4K, 4KVillain Flip: Scheme Twist (KO DA, Gain RR, DA to HQ)(4K Bury, TP to HQ)Play: Agents*4, Recruit DA, EI added to HQDraw: A*4, T, QDTurn 5:City: Sewers: MorgBank:Rooftops:Streets:Bridge:HQ: EI, IB, EI, 4K, TPVillain Flip: Master Strike(QD, A to Top Draw),SLMPlay: A*3, Recruit EI, TS added to HQDraw: A*4, DA, QDTurn 6:City: Sewers: SLMBank: MorgRooftops:Streets:Bridge:HQ: EI, IB, TS, 4K, TPVillain Flip: Master Strike(QD, A to top of Draw), Terrax (no BY added)Play: DA, A*3, Focus KO T from Discard, Recruit EI, EI to HQ Draw: QD*2,RR, A*2, TTurn 7:City: Sewers: TerraxBank: SLMRooftops: MorgStreets:Bridge:HQ: EI, IB, TS, 4K, TPVillain Flip: SLMPlay: QD, Draw T, QD, Draw T, T*3, RR (7Atk Total) Beat Morg (reduced to 6 due to QD*2)Draw: T, A*2, RR, QD, DATurn 8:City: Sewers: SLMBank: TerraxRooftops: SLMStreets:Bridge:HQ: EI, IB, TS, 4K, TPVillain Flip: Scheme Twist (KO DA, Gain TP, AR to HQ) (4k Buried, UR added)Play: QD, Draw A, A*3, Recruit EI, add TP to HQ, TP, T, RR, (7 atk) Beat Both SLMDraw: A*4, T, EI*2, QDTurn 9:City: Sewers:Bank: TerraxRooftops:Streets:Bridge:HQ: TP, IB, TS, UR, ARVillain Flip: Firelord Play: QD (A),EI(T), EI(TP,A), A*6, Recruit AR(4K to HQ)Draw: A*2, T, QD, EI, RRTurn 10:City: Sewers: FirelordBan[...]

Session: Railways of Great Britain:: 4 Players, 3 new

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:18:07 +0000

by Gutrender Interesting game. As the 'experienced' player (I can corral opponents as much as twice a year for a Railways game). I was intentionally hanging back a bit but first turn there was a Special Delivery card for Hull with a yellow cube only 1 link away and I should have stressed how important it was, I didn't bid because didn't want to leap ahead. Four plus Railway Era Opens first delivery plus the one delivery allowed that first player to leap ahead. redtrainPlayer One - Won the first turn bid. Gradually expanded a network that began with Whitby-Hull with the four point bonus for delivery to Hull. He stretched west to Leeds/York then north as far as Newcastle and south to London for some long red deliveries. He won the game with a single bond. .greentrainPlayer Two - Built a very tight and circular network based on Liverpool-Preston-Stoke-Manchester-Liverpool eventually with a northern branch to Carlisle and southern stretch through Hollyhead and Swansea to Cardiff. He also had a short eastern stretch to Sheffield-Leeds/York. His Liverpool based circuit allowed him to add links to otherwise short deliveries. Made good use of the urbanization operations cards to upgrade Chester-Stoke that area was abuzz with activity for most of the game, his northern and southern reaches were fairly late in the game. Second place.purpletrainPlayer Three - Appeared to lag a bit for most of the game but came from a good distance behind and ended up with a third place finish close to second. He had the Baron card for points for links into London and started out establishing his bonus card points with several short links into London. He took awhile to upgrade and make longer deliveries but came from behind with completion of the Plymouth-Dover major line and was first into the southwest so was able to make to make some long deliveries out of Plymouth and Barnstaple.yellowtrain Player four (me) - I started with a Gloucester-Birmingham link as there were a number of red cubes in Birmingham and a couple blues and a purple in Swansea. I spread south to Swansea then reached east to Norwich. I came in last. In my defence, as the only experienced player and teacher I spent a lot of time helping the others with strategies and rules implications rather than analyzing the positions and identifying best moves. One of my pet peeves is people who crush opponents while ostensibly teaching the game. This is my story and I am sticking to it.Observationsd10-1 I was in the geographic middle of the players and I recall that I was the only one to lose a number of cubes that I had planned to deliver. All three players reached into cities and took cubes that I was 'saving' for longer deliveries. Otherwise I think only Players One and Two poached a single cube from [...]

Session: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Conflict at the Carrock:: Solo single sphere Lore ftw

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:12:12 +0000

by Chrysm

I just had a great time playing this scenario solo using a single sphere Lore deck plus three Song of Kings to be able to get resources onto Grimbeorn.

The deck cards come from a single core set, plus The Hunt for Gollum and Conflict at the Carrock, of course. It's an easy build as there are 47 Lore cards available plus 3 Gandalfs for 50, then choose 3 to remove and replace with the Song of Kings cards.

The heroes were Glorfindel, Beravor and Denethor.

Denethor was used for scrying throughout, and the strategy was to not worry about threat and just stay on stage 1B until all my allies with attack strength were in play and Grimbeorn had joined the team too.

I'd exhausted my player deck and was at threat 48 when I finally advanced to the Carrock and the 4 trolls engaged me. Gandalf decreased my threat to 43, two Forest Snares took care of Morris and Stuart, and I made sure to kill Louis first so as to only suffer his +6 threat penalty once after he and Rupert attacked.

Gandalf reappeared to reduce threat once more, and the remaining rounds were plenty to quest through the Carrock and for Grimbeorn and friends to make troll paté.


Session: Flamme Rouge:: Tour de Stage 7-12

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:09:10 +0000

by don3000

So I did the six new stages with two bots, the power and peloton teams. And boy did I get crushed. I started out as suggested with choosing three exhaust-cards for my team and halfway through first race my sprinter was "miles" behind. And almost the rest of the tour he suffered from the amount of exhaust-cards he picked up.
Also I felt a bit unlucky with card drawings, especially how Peloton got the right card in 88-93% of drawings, so no wonder Peloton won by quite a margin in almost all of the races. (image)

When you guys play, how do you start out, cause as it states in the rules, Peloton first in random order, then power with sprinter up front and then me. Leaving me with my two riders side by side in the last open spot of a. That, of course, should add to great advantages of slipstream, but I never got the full potential of that.

I'll try doing it again soon and see if I have more luck, of course now I have the understanding of how the bots work and will get the hang of how to use them to my advantage.

Would have provided a picture of final score if I knew how (image)

Lastly, thanks for a great add-on to the game Asger.

Session: In the Trenches: Coup de Grace:: Probe into the Bois De Caures

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 22:27:59 +0000

by Alita99

In the Trenches is a game system about WWI tactical combat. It is comprised of two starter packs and at this writing four "Battle Packs". "Coup De Grace" is the first of these and covers a small portion of three western front battles. The first scenario "Probe into the Bois De Caures" follows a German probe after a saturation bombardment and to knock out four strongpoints along the French line.

The initial bombardment of the French wasn't as severe as it might have been, resulting in the loss of only two platoons. The Germans come streaming out of their trenches and rush headlong towards the French. As they do the French initially hold their fire, holding to that old military dictum "don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes". Just as the Huns are about to tear into the trench line, the French gunners open up. Unfortunately for them, their reaction fire rather poor, resulting in some German casualties...but perhaps not enough to stop them...

(Apologies for the pics, one is rotated the wrong way but you can still get an idea of the French line if you use your imagination, or just turn your head if you lack that...

Total losses so far: 2 French Platoons (of 8 and a machine gun crew) and two Germans (of 12).

This is the first round of the first turn, and normally several rounds are fought before it ends. The exception being if both sides roll the same initiative result at the start of any round, which is what happened.

So it will be interesting to see who wins the initiative at the start of turn 2. It's going to be bloody no matter who wins it.

Session: Star Trek: Ascendancy – Borg Assimilation:: First Borg Game: Federation Solo

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 20:43:38 +0000

by chas59 STAR TREK ASCENDANCY FIRST BORG ASSIMILTION GAMEFEDERATION SOLO AGAINST THE BORGBy ChasFor my first game with my new Borg Assimilation Expansion, I did a solo Federation vs Borg play. This was also the first time using my Christmas gifted official GF9 Play Mat, on which I placed the Transwarp Hub 18” from Earth. I had decided that the Terrans would have access to their set of my also newly gifted Escalation Packs, but it was not needed. I played with my standard Optional Rules: Additional Starting Resources and Focused Research. Although I may try some “Fixes” with the Borg eventually, I played with all standard rules, as this was a dry run for my first multiplayer game with the cyborgs the next day. It turned out to be a 10 turn game, during which First Contact was made with the Borg on Turn Five.Rather than a complete blow by blow session report, since there are only about three sessions reports on the Borg up yet, this narrative will actually focus on the rules questions that came up, and how I dealt with them. The play went quite smoothly, with no procedures that couldn't be answered with a bit of common sense and house ruling. The Federation decided to develop its first two 'safe' colonies before further exploration. When a third potential colony appeared the Borg assimilated it! That's when I blocked the three space Space Lane with three single ships, one on each space. Since I was able to keept it blocked for the rest of the game, the Borg ended lining up four cubes in a row against it, which cut down on their ability, even though they had three Borg worlds for themselves! Their lack of exploring when they can follow a connection meant that I was able to follow my own maximum exploration with a couple of single ships, even though I lost two of them. So I initially used mty Colonization Fleet to get the first two going, and then built up Battle Groups of 6 and 3 ship strength on Earth. Finding a frustrating PreWarp Civilization and five Phenomena meant a great boost to my Culture Levels, even though the worlds I found had only small potential growth for nodes. I did eventually end up with 2 of each resource as my small game income, but was able to move up to Ascendancy Level Two almost immediately. A final potential colony eventuall yielded me a second Culture node, which I built with trepidation, as it delayed my opportunity to advance in Ascendancy for a couple of turns; this proved another key decision. I did have to sacrifice greater fleet strength to keep the exploration going. I filled up the part of the map away from the Borg “behind” me and off to the side; the Borg half of [...]

Session: Castle Panic:: Help?! TRULY the worst draw ever. (Wizard's Tower. 2 player game)

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 20:28:03 +0000

by Torche This is a funny coincidence because as I was going to post this, I saw that 8 days ago, someone posted a thread entitled "Worst. Draw. Ever." . That example was with the base game. Well... I don't mean to steal his spotlight but here is my wife's nightmarish draw from tonight's two-player game of Wizard's Tower... Which leads me to wonder if this game has really been play-tested for two players.I will use the following abbreviations before each token to explain the draw:- "1st" = first monster token of the two initial monster tokens- "2nd" = second monster token of the two initial monster tokens- "D3#1" = first monster token for the "Draw 3 Monsters" token- "D3#2" = second monster token for the "Draw 3 Monsters" token- "D3#3" = third monster token for the "Draw 3 Monsters" token- "D4#1" = first monster token for the "Draw 4 Monsters" token- "D4#2" = second monster token for the "Draw 4 Monsters" token- "D4#3" = third monster token for the "Draw 4 Monsters" token- "D4#4" = fourth monster token for the "Draw 4 Monsters" token- "GK#1" = first monster token for the "Goblin King" token- "GK#2" = second monster token for the "Goblin King" token- "GK#3" = third monster token for the "Goblin King" tokenThe Draw went like this:1st: Draw 3 Monsters.......D3#1: Draw 4 Monsters..................D4#1: Phoenix..................D4#2: All players discard 1 card..................D4#3: Climbing Troll..................D4#4: Necromancer (resurrected 2 monsters).......D3#2: All players discard 1 card.......D3#3: Goblin King..................GK#1: One Imp per tower..................GK#2: Orc..................GK#3: Gargoyle2nd: OgreThis is what the board looked like once her draw phase was over:Did we play this out correctly? It's basically an instant loss 4 turns into the game ... It's also worth mentioning that the 4 cards we lost from the two "All players discard 1 card" cards were the Barbarian, 2 heroes of any color and "Drive them back".I've had other game-breaking draws in the past while playing this game but this one definitely takes the cake...Those "Draw 4" and "Draw 3" tokens are especially game breaking. Personally, I think they should have made that if you draw both on the same turn, you place the second one back in the bag and draw another token. [...]

Session: The Walking Dead: All Out War:: Solo campaign in Heathville

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 17:25:21 +0000

by Hahma Since I had setup Heathville, I figured I ought to use it. I didn't think it would be all that great to play on the entire board as a solo game, so I decided to make a little campaign. I would basically play 1 game on each section of mat, more or less and it may evolve differently as I go. So the plan is to have a 100 point group, including starting equipment, enter from the corner of the railroad mat and have the first game there. They would move toward the house mat, as that is their immediate need, shelter. The house mat game would be 2nd, and then from there as a base of operations, they'd go out and scavenge on the other mat sections. I'm thinking about having the last game be on the garage mat and have a car inside. They would need to break into the garage and get the car started so they can eventually scavenge further from the house. All other cars on the board will be beyond repair.I started with Derek, Allen and Donna for 70 points, and gave Derek a bat and bandages, Allen a shovel and Donna bandages. Total of 98 points. There would be 7 walkers placed in that area. The goal of this game is for the survivors to search the barrel, the crates and the big tank area. They just had to be on the tank base to search, and adjacent to any crate. Aside from that, the game ends at the end of the round that all remaining survivors get to the house section. Once a survivor ends their turn on the house mat, they are out of this game. Wherever they and any walkers end up at the end of the game, is where they will start the next game. Wounds carry over, as do found supplies.I may also at some point allow for a new survivor to be added. Perhaps the group rescues someone while out scavenging.HeathvilleDonna, Allen and Derek at the start of the game.The survivors start at the bottom left corner, and 7 walkers are in their way.Better view.Derek ran forward to make noise and attract a walker from the central area, to help clear that out for later. Both Allen and Donna sneak forward a bit, heading toward the barrel by the blue tank. The event for this round was Won't Stay Down. Since there were no prone walkers, the threat goes up one, and then one more for end of round solo rules.Allen reduces threat to 2 with Hold Nerve and then runs toward barrel and attracting the nearby walker into melee. Derek does the same thing. Donna sneaks because if she ran, the punk rock walker near in the road near the tracks would engage her.The event for this round is The Herd, so you can move one walker and have all eligible walkers within 8 inches move toward it. *** I messed this one event u[...]

Session: Myth: Dark Frontier:: Myth: Dark Frontier Initial Session, Overview, and Questions

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:41:12 +0000

by 12from1 What follows is my session report of an initial play of Myth: Dark Frontier.08JAN17 – Josh, Dino and Ben set out to play a 3 player game of Myth: Dark Frontier. All players were new to the game, and so the initial rounds were spent learning how to play. The review reflects that, and there are multiple questions and “gotchas” at the end of this report. The players were unable to finish the game, but did play until the final objective was revealed.Game Overview: Myth: Dark Frontier is a cooperative game where two to four players play as heroes who are fighting back the enemy forces that seek to destroy Ferrenroc. The players win by completing the final objective or destroying the enemy boss. The players lose if Ferrenroc’s stability ever reaches zero.Game Layout: The game board is made up of hexes with different types of areas surrounding the city structure of Ferrenroc. Ferrenroc itself is a miniature, built of 10 different assembled pieces, which, when fully assembled, represents the stability (health) of the city. During enemy activations and/or a siege, damage may be dealt to Ferrenroc, and pieces of the city are destroyed (removed from the miniature). If Ferrenroc ever reaches 0 stability, the enemy forces win, and the players lose the game.Each player may choose to play as any of the included heroes, including: Soldier, Brigand, Apprentice, Acolyte, and Archer (I’m ignoring the extra characters for the time being). Each hero has a miniature, player card with set-up instructions on the back, and a deck of five action cards. All players start their heroes inside Ferrenroc, which is designated as a tile that sits off to the edge of the game board. (Of note is that this tile can be placed in the center of the board and the Ferrenroc mini can be set off to the side, but we played the other way around.)Three objectives will be selected at the beginning of the game and placed on the Objective board. In addition, a random final objective will be selected and placed face down next to the Objective board. A number of objective tokens equal to the player count will be placed on the game board, in various locations that are indicated on the objective card. Throughout the course of gameplay, the heroes must work together to plan their actions to try to complete the objectives. Whenever an objective is completed, the heroes remove that objective token. Whenever all the objective tokens of any particular objective are completed, that objective is removed from the game. By removing all three objectives, the heroes trigger the final obje[...]

Session: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #3:: S27: Stand For New Zealand

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:41:01 +0000

by kilgore234 Just outside of Canea, crews of the British 3rd Hussars were sitting down for breakfast on the 20th of May. The first parachutes were sighted – incoming Germans from Oberst Richard Heidrick’s Fallshirmjäger-Regiment 3 and Major Ernst Liebach’s Fallshirm-Pionier-Bataillon 7. The mass of the force landed in Prison Valley, about a mile south of Galatas, Crete.This Scenario takes place on the 6th day of battle of the invasion of Crete. The German paratroopers and gliders have managed to consolidate and advance into their original city and airfield targets. Galatos and the events of May 25 are mentioned around the 24:30 mark in the video.Excerpt from “The New Zealand Expeditionary Force in World War II” by W. Stack & B. O’Sullivan: “A composite 10th Bde of infantry was cobbled together by LtCol Howard Kippenberger, using the Divisional Cavalry, a makeshift composite battalion of non-infantry personnel, and two Greek battalions. Facing the threat of a combined seaborne and airborne invasion, Freyberg had to disperse his strength to protect the three airfields on the island, as well as the beaches in their vicinity and the base area around Canea. The depleted NZ division was positioned to defend the western area between Maleme and Canea. The New Zealanders were specifically tasked with holding Maleme airfield, and the northerncoastline between it and Suda Bay…. Securing Maleme airfield gave the Germans the initiative. Heavily reinforced, they began advancing eastwards towards Canea, while a sizeable force threatened the New Zealanders’ flank from Prison Valley. In an effort to stem the German advance in that sector, on 25 May Brig Kippenberger directed the now famous counter-attack by his makeshift 10th Bde that recaptured the hilltop village of Galatas at bayonet-point. This proved only a temporary tactical success; increasing pressure by the Germans, who made good use of their command of the air by bombing the defenders almost continuously, obliged the Allied forces to withdraw to the east to avoid being surrounded. On 27 May, Freyberg advised the theatre commander Gen Wavell that the Allied position on Crete was untenable, and arrangements were made for an evacuation to Egypt.”Location:Galatas / Galatos , CreteDate:May 25, 1941Galatas – on reaching a corner halfway through the town, this Vickers Mk VI was struck by a round from an anit-tank rifle fired by Obergefreiter Rauch Moritz from the 8. Kompanie of Gebirgjäger-Regiment 100 from a balcony of a house across the road.Here[...]

Session: Next War: Poland:: The Baltic Invasion.

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:56:42 +0000

by Croaker13 I finally got this game in the mail a few days after Christmas, and I’ve been spending the time since then learning the rules, punching counters and so on (no clipping corners though – I’m not quite that much of a grognard yet). I finally think I’ve gotten a reasonable handle of the game so I wanted to post my first AAR for it.The scenario is “Red Storm: The Baltic Invasion”. I’m using the updated Russian OOP from Mitch ( can see the setup here:As you can see, NATO placed most of their forces to the south. I tried to cover every land area to avoid giving the Russian easy points. Russia, in turn, split its forces fairly evenly, but kept the armored brigades to the south.Turn 1:In the first turn, Russia advanced into three empty land areas while sending a heavy armored strike force into the Riga area to take the fight to NATO. In a massive clash, they took out the two Latvian battalions as well as the German Jagers.In Estonia, northern Russian forces advanced further into the country in the exploitation phase, engaging the Estonian defenders and removing a single battalion while suffering a step-loss themselves.In the south, the NATO forces tried to form a defense around Vilnius, but found themselves pursued and engaged once again. Trying to remove whole units, the Russians attacked the slightly weaker stack of Lithuanian brigades, but only managed to inflict a single step loss, leaving NATO diminished but unbroken.The turn ended with NATO sending two battalions to contest areas, thereby denying Russia the chance of an early win.Turn 2:Early NATO reinforcements started arriving, once again concentrating to the south (essentially abandoning Estonia to its own fate).Russia aggressively attacked the 1/82nd brigade (which I had probably placed in a too exposed position) wiping it from the map. Before the NATO forces could react, the same Russian force turned back to Vilnius and engaged the remaining NATO defenders, but only managed to remove a single battalion.Eyeing a rare opportunity for revenge, the NATO force moved south, but (after further study of the CRT) decided against engaging.Not wanting to be left out, the Russian armored force once again followed and inflected a step-loss on the American BCT while taking a single step-loss themselves.Turn two ended with NATO once again retreating to Vilnius to deny the Russians three points.It didn’t matter though. Just as additional NATO units started pou[...]

Session: Gloomhaven:: Chronicles of Gloomhaven, part 4: Unlikely Friends (Spoilers for scenario 67.)

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:56:26 +0000

by TravelingFearlessly Previously on Chronicles of Gloomhaven:S1E1: Into the BarrowS1E2: Solving your problems with brains and a flamethrowerS1E3: Poor as a church ratAdventurers:*Thanatos – Lv1 MindthiefVICTOR – Lv2 BruteI never properly introduced myself. As ‘Vermling Scum’, I do not have a ‘given’ name. Once my talents surpassed that of an average large sewer rat, I thought it appropriate to choose one. Thanatos. Perhaps a little ostentatious to name myself the personification of Death, but my skills with my dagger award me the title. Neither am I friendly or pleasant company, so it felt right. Tatos for short if you find it too much of a mouthful.I had heard rumors of an ancient library, out on the East Road, which sounded like an excellent opportunity to increase my gold collection. I have something of an obsession with gold, almost all consuming. I have many talents, and although I am small, I more than make up for it with speed and agility. That being said, I do fight best alongside a larger warrior, so I decide to share this opportunity with the largest beast that I know, VICTOR, an Inox brute. We have adventured together before, and although I consider him a little righteous, earsplittingly loud and with a warrior’s temper, he will bring out the best in me. He accepts, and we set off on our way.As we leave town, we see a young boy being hauled away by the city guard. VICTOR suggests we intervene to help the boy. I disagree – nobody except the rats helped me while I was growing up in Gloomhaven’s sewers, I made my own way out of trouble – but VICTOR insists. I think he fancies himself as a Paladin! As I need him, I agree we can help the boy. It seems a bribe is required, but I will not pay a penny, my gold is far more valuable than this boy’s life. VICTOR scowls at me and pays the guards, who leave the boy in peace. We leave Gloomhaven and hit the road.Along the way we see a man caught short in the woods, sheepishly asking for help. VICTOR again insists we help. I loathe the distraction but I will not actively get in VICTOR’s way. VICTOR gathers up some leaves and passes them to the man, who scurries off gratefully. We are wasting time, I remind VICTOR. He is unmoved.Finally, we arrive at the library. Upon entering the first room, we are confronted with a room full of bears and Imps, a strange and deadly combination. VICTOR and I briefly discuss tactics, before getting down to work. VICTOR screams and charges around the room, swingin[...]

Session: Wings of Glory: WW1 Rules and Accessories Pack:: Veterans' Day Wings of Glory Shootout (belated report)

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:55:55 +0000

by KentuckyBristle This is a belated report from the third annual Veterans Day Wings of Glory Shootout, from last November.This year, schedules were kind of crazy, and I held the game night a week after Veterans Day. Only two friends were able to make it. We opted for something I’ve never done before: A 1 vs. 1 vs. 1 match, with two planes each. I’m normally averse to a-historical situations such as this kind of group furball, but it was suggested, and heck, I’m game. My friend Aaron had two Albatros D.Va’s; Ed had two SPAD XIII’s; and I chose a Hanriot hd. 1 and a Pfalz D III.We selected beginning maneuvers and all started to converge on the center of the board.My planes exchanged fire with the SPADs, but my poor planning led to my Hanriot turning right in front of the SPADs, exposing its soft belly. Both SPADs got broadside shots at close range, and the Hanriot disintegrated. That might be the fastest I have ever lost a plane.My Pfalz continued straight, and blundered right into the path of the two Albatrosses, one of which got a shot off right away, but the Pfalz took no damage. I thought the Pfalz was doomed, though—I thought the Albatrosses would surely blast it apart after the next movement phase. But the Albatrosses had already programmed Immelmans! I rejoiced as I found myself on the Albatrosses’ tails. I followed on the Albatrosses, dealing out some damage, while the SPAD’s turned and hit them from ahead. An Albatros took a “Boom” card and was destroyed. In the turns that followed (which were confusing and I don’t remember well), a SPAD and an Albatros were lost.Finally, we had to call it quits—we didn’t have quite enough time left to see the game to the end. When we stopped, there was still the Pfalz, and two SPADs, each with three points of damage remaining, and one of the SPADs on fire. [...]

Session: Great War Salvo!:: SMS Viribus Unitis vs Dante Alighieri

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:27:46 +0000

by Aranubis

Viribus Unitis (Austria-Hungary)

Dante Alighieri (Italy)

The Battlships SMS Viribus Unitis and Dante Alighieri met at the Adria.
Weather was fair. Starting Range was Extreme.

1. Turn
The Austrian ship closed the range, while the Dante offered the first broadside. No hits achieved.

2. Turn
Viribus Unitis closed again while the Dante withdraw. No Salvos hit.

3. Turn
The Dante offered a broadside and scored a good hit. The Viribus Unitis got one F and two T hits during her advance. But she also shot back und could destroy one T on the Dante.

4. Turn
Both ships offered broadsides and hit their enemy. The Dante got 2 F damage, the Viribus Unitis one F and one S

5. Turn
Again both ships offered broadside, but this time with no results.

Dante Alighieri withdraw. Her stern guns couldn't hit anything. The Viribus Unitis pursued and scored a T on the italian ship.

After having received heavy damage the Dante Alighieri decided to end the encounter and escaped. Also heavily damaged, the Viribus Unitis abandoned the pursuit and set course to the next friendly harbour to lick her wounds.

Final Damage
Dante Alighieri FFTT
Viribus Unitis FFTTS

Session: Alchemists:: I lost HARD...

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:30:03 +0000

by ViperMan I love this game. I really do.Last night I convinced the wife to plop it on the table (the game...) I have an undefeated record at home, thanks to playing several games online to get the hang of it before I bought a copy. So I hit the ground running with my usual strategy of narrowing my first ingredient down to only 2 symbols within the first 2 rounds, so that I can at least hedge against the third color by the third round and get a theory published.Along the way I grabbed the magic mortar artifact that lets me keep one of the two ingredients. I've found that useful in the past. My wife however got an artifact (can't remember the name) that lets her SEE one of my ingredients, and of course hear what my resulting potion was. Quite an advantage... would think...And then I really shot myself in the foot.On round six, I had a rock-solid strategy; grab the feather, sell a potion with a proven outcome, take the 4 gold to buy an artifact that makes publishing free, and publish my second theory...Well, then my wife got a round of analysis paralysis and took several minutes getting her action cubes on the board, and by the time it was my turn, I COMPLETELY forgot to grab the feather, and realized a turn later that I had screwed myself completely, with no gold to buy an artifact OR publish a theory...So round 7 came around, and - in all fairness, I already had a few beers and 2 hot toddies in me... So, I had only managed to confirm the symbols of two ingredients. I published one theory, but then my wife played the symbol I was going to use to publish my second theory on a different ingredient... #Record scratch...#So I threw out a hedged-guess on another ingredient to at least get something else on the board, but was still getting clobbered with 3 theories to her 4.And then the sh*t really hit the fan.After the final round, we revealed the answers. It was so bad, I questioned whether or not we had both entered the same code into our individual copies of the app... The ONLY theory I had right was the last-minute hedge guess I threw out. Since it was a hedge though, I didn't get any points. My other two theories were wrong, 2 of hers were wrong, one was right (worth 5 points,) and the other (correct) one was a hedge (no points.) So in the end I earned as many points as I started with (10,) and she had 20.I was more befuddled at how I had gotten so many symbol ass[...]

Session: Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition:: Muaat Nekroball! :devil:

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:29:46 +0000

by Imsen Great session with both new and experienced players, very agressive play and very few PDS on the board. Some really crazy things happened during this game. As the title says, the virus managed to steal the race techs from both the Muuat and Saar, creating the infamous Muuat nekroball! The participating factions: (in order of appearance)Letnev (winner):Letnev is as slow starter, but was being played steadily by an experienced player. Letnev did not sport many resources, but a lot of influence planets close to home. Although the player was unhappy with this, it actually gave Letnev a good counter economy, and because of the home system he did not lack the resources to build. With Muuat to his right and Saar to his left, he managed to build uneasy truces (lots of metagaming here, yawn), and went for Mecatol rex in round four. At this point, Letnev had a very strong fleet with war suns and race techs (shields), but completely underestimated the fighter swarm and almost lost it all when MR was recaptured by Naalu. In the skirmishes that followed, shrewd diplomacy allowed Letnev to barely hold the ground and score the last vital points in round six.Saar (eliminated at 9 points, ended up last)The saarball has become a well known strategy to TI4 players, and while Saar was played by a freshman, he followed the recipe and built a saarball that rolled slowly towards Mecatol rex, which he captured from Yssaril in round three. At the same time, he tried to build two more balls, which definitely was one to much, and Saar was spread too thin and surrounded by enemies. Letnev to his right was too strong for him, and Naalu was defending heavily with fighter screens. His worst opponent proved to be the virus, who appeared through a wormhole and captured his home systems. Nevertheless, Saar scored a lot of secret objectives and other points, and had a shot at a shared victory in the last agenda phase, when the vote came up to let the two players in the lead have one more point (or the last players have a point). Sadly for him, this was turned down, and Letnev and Naalu took him out of the game just before the end.Naalu (third place)Saar to his right, Yssaril to his left. The game started with a dispute between Yssaril and Naalu about a blue tech planet, which Naalu managed to wrestle away from Yssaril. This gave Naalu a much needed tech advantage, and by round four [...]

Session: Shogun:: Shogun in Japan Game 01: One Year of War

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:29:42 +0000

by n107 I got a copy of Shogun Big Box during the Kickstarter campaign but it sat at my mother's house for half a year before I picked it up last December. From there, it sat on my shelf, completely untouched, until this past weekend. My wife's brother had been interested in playing it ever since he saw the box many months ago but it was hard to find the time and convince my wife to be the third player. After waiting during the New Year's holiday for a chance to play it (didn't happen since we only played Mysterium again and again), we reconvened one week later to actually give it a try. Sadly, we ran out of time in the evening so my brother-in-law returned the next morning to play. We would only have a short time because the little one was awake and running rampant. My wife's parents were watching her for us but we didn't have the luxury of playing a full game as we would have had the previous night after the baby went to sleep. So we decided to play the game up to the first scoring round, giving us one year of war. Set Up:Board: SunSamurai:Uesugi Kenshin - n107Tokugawa Ieyasu - The MissusTakeda Shingen - BroStarting Provinces:n107Suruga Mino Tamba Musashi Harima Izu Owari Sagami Tajima The MissusYamato Echizen Shimotsuke Shimosa Ise Hitachi Awa-Shikoku Kaga Kii BroBizen Omi Hida Etchu Hoki Bitchu Bingo Settsu ShinanoWe used the suggesting starting provinces from the rule book to speed things up since, again, we had little time and I also had to explain the rules to two non-gamers (and in a foreign language, no less). The only difference is that I allowed everyone to place their starting armies in whichever province the chose, rather than following the number printed in the book. This was done less out of strategy and more out of the fact that I forgot until much later. Oops.Year OneSpringTurn Order:Bro - +1 GoldThe Missus - 6 Soldiers for 3 Goldn107 - +1 RiceSpecial Event: 3 Gold for 3 Recruits, 2 Gold for 2 RecruitsThe first round of the first game was a little bit of a struggle for The Missus, at least in the planning phase. I knew this game was a couple of steps above the complexity level she is accustomed to with the games she participates in. Bro, on the other hand, was able to understand quite readily. I believe our sessions playing Letters from Whitechapel and Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle have been training [...]

Session: Here I Stand:: The Fall of the Hapsburgs (1517 scenario)

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:29:26 +0000

by miriku From the very start of the game the reformation was going terribly. The protestants only grabbed 2 electorates before the formation of the Schmalkaldic League and were almost wiped off the map twice in early going.I was the Habsburgs and thought I'd get away with maybe getting the Ottomans to fight the Pope (since he was crushing Luther and looked overall dominant) for a bit while I grabbed Genoa with the card and Metz with a small army (France was getting stuck in north Italy and in the best of all worlds they'd then go to war with the Ottomans after), which also let me spend spare CPs on new world exploration.Instead the pope panicked and made a deal with the Ottomans: they stay out of Italy and he plays a big army raise card on them. Unfortunately for me he ended up having to do it during my attempt to break the siege of Vienna. The result was disastrous with Charles going into captivity and a 13 stack of Habsburg armies lost. North Italy was a wasteland like always and France lost their army fighting the papacy. They ended up fighting me in a brief war and losing. I acquired chunks of Southern France that I sold back for VPs in a white peace (to concentrate on the about to win Ottomans), while England just barely started spreading from Calais. That selling of those cities was the final of my mistakes and the game sealing one.The ending was brutal. Under my control Charles V escaped captivity with the Ransom card, raised a new army, grabbed Vienna in a sudden attack, and stood to defend it again with an 8 stack vs an attacking 10 stack. Open field battle this time with the plan to siege with the survivors. Well, unfortunately the entire stack died. 8 troops, 8 hits. I'm not going to do the math but let's say that it was a startling defeat. Charles goes into captivity again and Vienna falls a second time. Meanwhile, in a single turn Henry VIII gets a healthy male heir with the matching points, then proceeds to just run a swath over the war-tired French from Calais to Paris to Lyon to Marseille, picking up a huge 11 points in two rounds. The Ottoman pirate fleet gets wiped out off the coast of Algiers meaning that they were just short the points they needed to win on tie break and that's all she wrote.After 8.5 hours of gameplay England is the dominant power in Europe, Charles V dies in Turkis[...]

Session: Mysterium:: Mysterium in Japan Game 00: A New Game for a New Year

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:29:13 +0000

by n107 Having received the game from a friend as a present (which is the biggest mystery of all, if you knew who this particular friend is) I knew that the best chance to try it out would be during New Year's Eve with the in-laws.As I doubt anyone on this forum would have ever ready any of my other session reports, I should point out that it is not easy to find a game group in rural Japan due to this hobby not being so wide spread in this country. I did have a great group for a few years, but they are all gone now--scattered to the four corners of the globe. Fortunately my wife's family are keen to play a number of the games that I own, provided that they are not too complicated and don't rely too heavily on language, aside from her brother who is willing to try some of the heavier stuff as long as I explain what the cards say. With that preamble out of the way, let's get into the New Year's Eve Session. This is game 00 because we are playing the most simplified version of the game (and simplifying it even more) to learn it and to teach it to my in-laws. Note: As this is an extraordinarily casual session, I did not take detailed notes as I would for a more serious game. This report is more of a take on how the game felt than a turn-by-turn examination.Session 1Difficulty: EasyGhost - n107PsychicsAlphonse de Belcour - The MissusMadam Wang - The MissusJessalyn Smith - Bro[BGCOLOR=#000000]Ardhashir[/BGCOLOR] - BroAlthough I was intending to play without speaking as the Ghost, I had to explain the rules as we were going through the turns. So I kept as quiet as I could and opted for the "knocking" for yes and no. However, we chose to do it reverse of the rulebook: 1 knock = "no", 2 knocks = "yes". This way there is a little bit of tension about whether that second knock is coming. The first hour of Vision Interpretation wasn't too bad. The Vision Cards I had were really good for the suspects. I had the Vision with the ball of yarn and one of the suspects was the Seamstress so that was quite clear. The others, too, were pretty spot on for each suspect. Sure enough, both The Missus and Bro nailed all four of the suspects in the first go.Once they reached the second stage to find the location, things got a little trickier. Now I found that the cards weren't as clear for[...]

Session: Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysian Quadrant:: First Games - 8-player Madness and 4-player Dealmaking

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:29:10 +0000

by gmhakim I wish we could have started in the other order, but we had a big group who wanted a huge game, so we broke it out. I was teaching the game, so let everyone pick their races first. I ended up with the Yengii (as I expected), and we left the Zeth in the box.There was a FLURRY of activity as everyone jumped into trading from the get-go. The Im'Dril fought hard to get fleets out, and succeeded due to misinterpreting the fact that the Unity large wild he traded for could not, in fact, be used as an octagon. But there was too much going on for anyone to notice. The Eni Et struggled through the first three rounds before becoming the most popular player at the table in rounds 4-6. I'm sure this is a common phenomenon, but she could have leveraged us against each other, and probably collected below-market value for her insane essentially autotech converters.The Faderan played well but didn't farm out acknowledgements as much as they could have. The Unity, faced with a plethora of trading partners, found a stingy market for wilds, and really struggled. The Caylion, Kjas, and K't did their thing, although the Caylion should have traded for more ships - they didn't use their x2 Seedlings very much, and the K't didn't end up popping out a lot of colonies. There was a lot going on.I, as the Yengii, actually invented a tech on turn 1 and my economy did fine, as the Yengii are quite wealthy. I managed to license it for a small handful of cubes. Throughout the rest of the game, I invented maybe 4 or 5 more techs, but found licenses very hard to share. I ended up just calling "everyone look at the bottom of your cards. Can you use Genetic Engineering to upgrade any of them? You can't get that card. I can give you that card for a blue and a yellow."This type of overeager salesmanship was necessary, and very difficult. I managed to sell about 8 licenses throughout the game - about one per player, but for 3 techs, so 2.67 licenses per tech. I used my good economy to trade for other cubes in bulk and saved up in order to invent an Era III and Era IV tech on the final turn. I went into turn 6 with 21 points and ended up with 45, and won. (#badteacher). The final scores:*(G) Yengii: 45Faderan: 31Kjas: 30*(J) Unity: 28*(L) Caylion: 28*(H) Im'Dril: 27Eni Et: 26.5K[...]

Session: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe:: Carl's Solo Game 1 – The Main Event – In-Progress Report

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:29:05 +0000

by cjs65 IntroductionOther than some of the training scenarios, this is my first attempt at Unconditional Surrender. So why a game report? Well I sort of got hooked on producing ‘in-action reports’ for both The Battle for Normandy and Holland ’44, where I document a game as it progresses, with as much detail as I can manage without eating up too much time. I can see the story potential with this game which is important to me if I’m writing a report, so I thought I’d give it a go. I’m not going to do turn-by-turn posts, I’ll post a summary when something significant happens, or if I’ve accumulated enough minor stuff to make it worthwhile.This isn’t my first grand-strategic WWII game, I’ve also played Third Reich, WWII: European Theatre of Operations (and PTO), Krieg, Totaler Krieg and Europe Engulfed; there may even be others I’ve forgotten over the past 35 years or so. I guess I’m still looking for the perfect ETO game, though for me Totaler Krieg has been the closest so far. On my first try I’ll be looking to go fairly historical to get a feel for the game, so it’ll be West First and no Allied control of Italy unless the Axis declares war. Like that’s ever going to happen...The game will be using Vassal v3.2.17 with the Unconditional Surrender module v2.3.0 and will be played solo. As usual thanks to the people who make it possible for me to play these games without using up table space that I don’t have, by providing this software and all of the great modules. Encouraged by another BGG user, Gianluca Spessato, the first turn will be a lot more detailed than subsequent turns are likely to be, partly so that more experienced players will be more able to spot the mistakes I’m sure to make and partly to give an example for others just starting out. Please don’t hesitate to comment/criticise/make suggestions, I’d like to learn as much as possible from this exercise. The interaction also really helps me to keep going.Without further ado, here we go:September 1939 – The Fall of PolandWeather PhaseCold Zone: FairMild Zone: FairWarm Zone: FairDeclare War PhaseThe Axis declares war on (1) Western faction, ending Appeasement and adding 40 to Soviet national will, and (2) Poland, which activate[...]

Session: Dinosaur Island:: Experimenting with the effect of turn order and food vendors on final score

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:28:58 +0000

by mvettemagred After reading several comments to the effect that always going first and/or getting an early food vendor means you're practically guaranteed to win, and not experiencing that in my several games, I decided to do an experiment. I ran a 2-player long game playing both players myself. The blue player focused on maximizing park VP each turn and on going for the Objectives. The white player grabbed the first available food vendor and used it for money generation, while letting some visitors get eaten to ensure he remained first in turn order. I tracked some turn-by-turn stats. Here's how it turned out.TL/DR: Grabbing an early food vendor, and staying first in turn order, led to a crushing defeat for the white player. The blue player beat the white player 135-100. Using the food vendor almost always for money, and having some visitors get eaten in the early rounds to stay first in turn order, caused the white player to fall further and further behind in VPs. The blue player's more efficient park ensured he stayed fairly close in income generation, while far outpacing the white player in VPs.Below are the round-by-round details.Objectives (randomly chosen):1. Earn 10 VPs (with modifiers) from patrons in a single round.2. Build 3 ride attractions in your park.3. Build 3 merchandise attractions in your park.Plot Twists (chosen on purpose, as I wanted to see their effect):- Add all the VIPs to the bag at the start of the game. Each VIP is worth 2 VPs, and is placed before hooligans.- Add 1 additional hooligan to the bag at the end of each round.(The round stats are shown based on turn order for each round) Round 1Turn order: Blue, WhiteEnd score: 8, 9End $: 14, 15# of food spots used for income: 0, 2Excitement: 3, 2Patrons/Hooligans/VIPs: 2/1/0, 1/1/0Summary: Blue built an herbivore and grabbed the Security Guard. White built Dinosaur Fryland and created a starting dino.Round 2Turn order: Blue, WhiteEnd score: 14, 12End $: 7, 12# of food spots used for income: 0, 2Excitement: 5, 4Patrons/Hooligans/VIPs: 4/0/1, 3/0/1Summary: White used his food vendor for income and didn't fully protect his visitors, causing him to gain first in turn order.Round 3Turn order: White, BlueEnd score: 12, 20End $:[...]

Session: Here I Stand:: A short game of Here I Stand

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:25:00 +0000

by Hattes So we finally got the new edition to the table this Sunday. After having planned it for about two months, the session ended up quite short, with one player winning in turn 3, before our supposed-to-be-midgame pizza delivery even arrived When distributing sides I had claimed no preference but ended up playing France (in actual fact my first choice). With them having the most changes in the new edition and generally being one of the most interesting to play I was keen on trying them again. Our group has never seen a French win (over something like ten plays, though I don't keep count). My brother, who was new to the game, played the Protestants. Due to one of our players dropping out, we also had a newbie as the Ottomans.As the game starts, nothing much special happens in the first phases. England tried to offer me the Scottish troops in exchange for not putting up a fight for Scotland, but since Scots have to winter in Scotland in this edition that isn't much of an option anymore, I guess. Also I was holding Auld Alliance (which allows France to add up to three French regulars to a Scottish home space when war is declared on Scotland) so I was prepared to give him trouble. Little did I know that I would get trampled from another direction...Since Hapsburg had used his spring deployment to reinforce Tunis I went ahead and put my Paris army next to Metz. Well, Charles the V didn't waste any more time but went in and took it in short order. During this, I spent my time on peacefully building chateaus, getting a free card draw in the bargain. I felt I had to take the chances I got to play my home card with no enemies on French soil to avoid the negative modifiers. After Charles was done installing a new government in Metz he quickly turned his attention my way.I managed to avoid battle into Paris, feeling relieved as I did so. Charles and his army continued and lay siege to my capital. At this point he had a couple more cards than me (he had played Fuggers, which gives you two card draws but one less card next turn). I figured I should build a small army and park it next to Paris to break his LOC and delay him, hopefully enough to have a chance of survival. It didn[...]

Session: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition):: 6 Player TI3 last play of 2017

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:21:28 +0000

by tawnos76 I set up a game for Saturday December 30th with 5 other friends for a full day game.It was very fun and we all had a great time and stopped midway for pizza.I had set up a side table for the proposed agendas, Objectives and Facilites.I used a variant where there are 5 Preliminary Objectives out on the table and you must complete One of them in order to score your Secret Objective. Only 1 can be done and it is the players choice of which one to do.I give out 2 Secret Objectives at the beginning of the game (1 MR and one non-MR objective) and you may only score one of them.The proposed agenda are placed up by each player at the beginning of the game and are the 6 agendas that the political Strategy Card will have to choose from.I use a large mix of Green objectives that start the game out and a mix of all the Stage 1 and Stage II objectives from the game.The Facilities are from an earlier variant that was posted up that I wanted to try out and it worked very well. There are 3 types for different abilities and you have to start with the lower one and work your way up to the better ones building them as you go. The person who runs a Production action will get 3 free and then secondaries get 2 at half cost and all other ways to build facilities also apply as power the facility rules. Are players wereNekro Virus 1st placeSaar Second place (my placement)MuaatLetnevNaaluL1z1xNekro was able to get Warsuns early off of Muaat and copy the Letnev Noneuclidian Shielding which made them near unstoppable. We played on my 6 player specialized board.We used Fog of War, Distant Suns, and my variant of Spacial Anomalies. My special set of Strategy Cards as well.It was a very fun day with all players enjoying it and waiting for the next one of 2018.Always room for more if you are in the Chino area, just let me know. [...]

Session: Terraforming Mars:: Venus Next: First Playthrough

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:17:49 +0000

by varianor My friends and I are big fans of Terraforming Mars. So my excitement was high when the game store told me that my pre-order was in this Saturday. I promptly picked it up to unbox it! We convened a game day on Sunday to try it out. My friends A and V (husband and wife) joined in. Other folks were late so this turned out to be only the second three player Terraforming Mars game that I’ve been in out of approximately 15 games (not including solo play). This was their first three player – normally we have entirely full sessions anytime this game comes out. As expected, it took a few more generations to Terraform Mars due to a) fewer players adjusting global parameters, b) the additional Venus cards and c) forgetting the Solar Phase/World Government action. Specifically 12 generations.Physical Packaging: Like the original game and the Hellas/Elysium board, Venus Next has solid, high quality components. I like the additional Award and Milestone. They fit thematically - and they fit on the board! We learned that we’re going to have to retrain ourselves to look up from the convenient line of Awards and Milestones at the bottom to not miss the new ones sitting on top of the section. Late in the game I thought I could claim a conventional milestone, but we had three already – V having claimed Hoverlord. (Ironically I had earlier claimed the Gardener milestone even though she got her third greenery tile first. Had she claimed it she might have won however she had bad MC cashflow the whole game. Great “floater flow” though. Ha!) So pay attention to that section of the board!The art is high quality, also consistent with the original.Bonus – another white plastic cube!Game Play and Length:Length was about two hours – longer than a typical game. Part of it was getting used to new rules. Part of it was additional cards to put resources on - e.g. floaters. And the rest of it was manipulating a fourth parameter for Venus. Venus terraforming gives you up to 15 raises to split amongst any who take them, however it obviously pulls attention away from Mars. This increased individual TR since we got to 28%, but [...]

Session: Pictionary:: Forgot how much fun this could be

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:17:22 +0000

by EMBison

My modern boardgaming hobby is 100% on my side of the marriage, though my wife does enjoy a good game of scrabble every now and then. So image my surprise when she said we had been invited over to one of her friends for a night of board games and pizza.

There were six of us total and the appetizers, pizza, drinks and company were all fantastic. Then the boardgames were broken out. Pretty much all 1980's party games (though there was a copy of Trivial Pursuit - 90's Edition). Pictionary was chosen, we divided into two teams of three and off we went.

Though we all could barely draw above the stick figure stage, we had a lot of mental connections pretty much every answer was guess before time. Lots of fun was had. In general, it comes down to the attitude of the players. For example, I was very proud of the star and ship I managed to draw, while my teamates kept yelling "it's a star boat, starboat, boat star, starry boat." That kind of thing can bother people, especially if you are uber competitive... but with this crowd it was all in good fun.

Also, I think the game worked much better with two groups of three than if we had broken into three groups of two. Something to remember the next time we play...

One downside is that the game overstayed its welcome by about 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, I remembered that this was usually the case with Pictionary and that the game is better with some simple house rule: You start your turn rolling the dice and moving rather than having to draw a card first.

Moral of the story? Even a game unloved by BGGers can be fun if played with the right people and the right attitudes.

Session: Battle of Belmont:: Bloodbath at Belmont (or don't count your chickens...)

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:14:01 +0000

by napgeorge The Battle of Belmont – Paper Wars/Compass GamesPregame reflectionsThis replay if of the Battle of Belmont. I ordered this game because of how much I absolutely enjoyed Ball’s Bluff by John Poniske. I have read through the rules and set up the counters. I did not read the specific history of this battle either in the articles in Paper Wars, the Designer’s Notes nor elsewhere. I did not want to give myself any preconceived notions of how to fight the battle, but to give it a try on my own. I also just purchased a copy of Huzzah! from OSS (One Small Step), which also has a Belmont game. This may make it to the table, also. I try to play games which do not have replays posted to BGG (, but also play games which I think I will enjoy playing even if they do have AAR’s posted. I began writing AAR’s last year to memorialize the play and share the experience, since with solo play there is little other interaction available. A read through of the rules shows more chrome and different mechanics than Ball’s Bluff, although I can visualize the starting point. I am sure I will make errors in play. The rules are well written and not that complex but with enough special cases to make things interesting. There is a definite modelling of the battle here, but with that room for exploration which I like as a wargamer. The first play has the added bonuses of both discovering the nuances of the system and battle; while offering me the chance to see if I see it the same way Grant saw it on first glance. Since the CSA forces are reactive, until they become the aggressors, I can also see how I do as them (hopefully better than the Bishop Polk, an officer with a less than stellar Civil War record). The nice thing about a chit-pull activation is that you really do not know what opportunities will present themselves, making the game exciting, replayable and solitaire-friendly. Confused orders chits further unbalance the ability to plan in detail.As the Union sets up first I decide we will attempt the main road straight to Camp John[...]

Session: Quartermaster General: 1914:: Redemption as the Central Powers hang on for a narrow victory

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:13:40 +0000

by Norbert Chan Last week, I got taken out to the woodshed, when I was playing Germany. I wasn’t sure when I would get to be able to play Germany again, as the nations are randomly dealt out when we play. I had gone to the washroom when they were dealing out nations, and when I got back, the France deck was in front of me. Ken then said I was actually dealt Germany, and Ken was shuffling the Germany deck and asked if I wanted to play France? I said I preferred to play Germany, as I had some unfinished business, so Ken gave me the Germany deck. Don was Austria Hungary, Trevor was Russia, Ken was France and Craig was UK.Don played Franz Ferdinand Avenged to take over Serbia. Trevor plays Russia Mobilizes to build in Petrograd and Poland. I play the economic warfare card OHL – for the cost of 2 cards, I draft a build army, play a status card which was Mustard Gas, and got to play another economic warfare card which forced France to discard 3 cards and gave Central powers 1 VP. Ken puts down Ranult FT Tanks, while Craig played Grand fleet to build a fleet in the English Channel and draft another fleet. Don built in Galacia. Trevor played an event card which let him build in Prussia and attack Galacia and he unprepared a card as he knew I had mustard gas. His thinking was that if your score is at 0, if you get hit by mustard gas, you can’t lose a VP as you are at 0. (We didn’t know what the rule was so Don started looking). I land battled Prussia anyways to knock out the Russian army there. Ken builds in Rome, while Craig builds in Belgium.Don then plays the status card that gives the Central powers 2 VP if there is no unit adjacent to Serbia. At this point, we have found the rule where if you have no prepared cards and are at 0 VP, Germany gains a VP. We asked Trevor if he wanted to discard a couple of cards, as I would attack him once more before the scoring round, but he was fine (at the end of the game, he said he had 5 build armies and 2 land battles and didn’t want to lose any of them). So the score was Central 11, Ent[...]

Session: Clans of Caledonia:: Woodcutters / Miners are overrated

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:13:22 +0000

by robertopellizini I've seen several people (myself included) suggest that the best way to start in this game is always to put out 4 clansmen and upgrade technology for a decent income. This does seem like a solid opening, but I always wondered whether it's the only good opening, or, whether it's the best opening in many cases (particularly when no clansmen VP scoring is present).I've only recently (after 50+ games, almost all being solo) come to the conclusion that often it's not good to put out several clansmen. After several solo games experimenting with few workers, I've come to the conclusion that quite often it's not the best way to proceed, and for some clans it's actually suboptimal.TLDR; both a worker/clansmen and a production strategy seem feasible. For some clans, one is preferred over the other, while for other clans it's really dependent on: space availability, contracts, round vp, etc.Session reportThe other day I played a solo and in the VP tiles the clansmen tile was absent. I don't exactly recall the VP tiles, but I think production areas was an early scoring tile, and meat and exports (or reversed) were in round 4-5.I picked MacKenzie (the whisky-clan) and put down 2 woodcutters relatively close to ports. I noticed a couple of money exports in the offer, and came up with a plan. I decided to use the exchange-port to exchange my 2 starting clansmen with 2 distilleries (to make whisky). I put down a field to go along with it, another distillery, and got a grain from the market (and I think I did something else as well, but can't recall). So my income in round 2 was 16 (pass) + 0 (workers) + 9 (for 3 whisky) = 25 coins, but I did have 3 whisky barrels. I sold 2 for 22, invested in some merchants, and put a 2nd field and my last distillery out (among other things, I think I also completed 1-2 contracts in the first 2 rounds that had money on them). From then on, for the rest of the game, my income was 16 (pass) + 12 (for 4 whisky) = 28 coins (but with 4 whisky barrels). I soon had an overflow of[...]

Session: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery:: Missionaries /Cathedral/Population buildings pull off a 1 point victory in a six player game

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:12:35 +0000

by Norbert Chan Player order was myself, Jean, Craig, Ken, Don and Trevor. Going first, I went on the trade good area to get a high value good, and I was able to build 4th in buildings. In building order, Craig got the Missionaries (worth 2 colonists when coming off the boat), Ken got soldiers, Trevor bought Navigator (get a captain in the explore box), while I bought Settlers to get an extra colonist. I also got a merchant ship, so I was in decent shape after the first round. In the second round, the building that gives you $20 came up, and Don was able to buy it, and buy New World Catography and get a 5 native explore chit, so Don took the early lead. In the third round, Jean got the building that lets you put a colonist on the X sport, Don bought the settlers building and Craig got trader which gives $5 a round. There weren’t a lot of colonists on the board yet and the scores were were Craig and Don at 8 and everyone else at 6. Craig’s game started to take off when he got the Cathedral in round 5 or so. That meant every missionary he put on (and he had 2 missionaries a turn now) were worth 3 colonists. But in round 4, Jean had bought the building that gives you a colonist in the Y spot, so both Jean and Craig were getting lots of people onto the board. Ken and I were fighting over trade goods. One turn, Ken took battled me for a merchant ship and he was ahead of me in turn order. But Ken was slowly building up three different sets, and using his eventual 3 merchant ships to create three four of a kind goods at game end. However, it was clear that Craig with his at least 2 missionaries at turn (worth 6 colonists) was overtaking the board. So everyone used soldiers where they could to trim down Craig’s colonists. At the last round, I used the university to build first, buying the tile that gives 1 per trade good, worth 9 VPs to me. I could have denied Craig the population tile (1 VP for every 2 colonists) but that would have set up someone else as the winner. Craig boug[...]

Session: Epic PvP: Magic:: First Impressions of Epic PvP: Magic

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 22:12:18 +0000

by glenn3e So I just got this kickstarter gem to add to my Epic PvP Fantasy and got a few games in with my fiance. The expansions adds more depth to the game with the Magic mechanic and they explored a lot of design space with the mechanic. Here's a report of our initial matchups.Satyr ShamanMy fiance played this in all 4 of our games, wanting to master one race/class combination before trying others. She chose well, as this combo is pretty strong in gaining card advantage as well as punishing aggression while the Satyr is good at milling opponents and buffing his attacks when your opponent is "drunk"(Satyr Mechanic).Djinn BattlemageI wanted to try Djinn first, since changing into random forms sounds cool but in this combination my forms didn't do much to help me get in any attacks and the constant flurry of claw attacks from the Satyr Shaman drained my aggression before I could get some big attacks in.Sporeling SeerThis one was a pretty close game down to the wire, with both players left with 1 life and could have won on their turn. The Sporeling is unique in that it shuffles 10 Sporeling cards into their OPPONENT's deck. When drawn and if your opponent plays it, you get bonuses to your moves. If they don't play it, you can punish them for holding to many in their hand with your race ability. The Sporeling's advantage here is healing itself and winning in the long game meshes well with the Seer that can get rid of strong cards from your opponent's hand.Gorgon NecromancerThis combination was pretty bad, as the Necro does better with life gain or high life Races while the Gorgon has neither. The Necro can bring back low cost moves from the discard but the Gorgon is focused more on high attacks. Died pretty fast in this matchup as the combo didn't work.Pixie Time WizardNow this is a pretty fun combo, perhaps the strongest we had so far despite the Pixie's low life value of 2. The Pixie has perhaps the best healing in the game, and a few ways of negating high[...]

Session: The Great Game:: Russian win and questions...

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 19:42:20 +0000

by bfletcher

Just had a fun (quick and complete) solo game. Persia went early to Russia, but the Persians kept bouncing off the walls of Herat with terrible attrition casualties--need to figure out how to get Russian leaders to Tehran. Using a campaign card and moving in small groups the Russians crossed the deserts and came up against Khiva which they immediately conquered, then in another round successfully used an emissary card to convert Bokhara to the Russian camp. Britain struggled with building forces (the Russians kept knocking them back with that transfer card which is a killer) but subdued Punjab and Baluchistan, but the Russians ignited rebellions in one and then the other which kept Britain tied up. Finally, with a small force, Roberts swept into Punjab to confront a sizable rebel force, conquered it and with the Russians poised to advance on Kabul, had to drive on to beat them to the city--winning a crushing victory and conquering Afghanistan, while suffering no battlefield or attrition loss. Feeling smug and confident, Roberts then swept down to pick off a weakened Herat, but also failed and retreated with some attrition loss. The Russians took this moment to incite an Afghani rebellion which surprised Roberts in Kandahar, slaughtering him with his entire force. In the final rounds of the 1880s, Russia now advanced on Kabul, destroying the Afghani defenders and capturing the city while for good measure launching another successful rebellion in Punjab. Britain, regrouping in India could not successfully quash the rebels before time ran out. Win to Russia.

Couple of related questions: Do leaders only move by card action, and does a leader's tactical score count on the defensive? Thanks.

Session: Gloomhaven:: Tale of Two Parties, Chapter 23 (Void Travelers, Scenario 28)

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 17:19:00 +0000

by EventHorizon [Note: Tale of Two Parties is being written primarily as a way to see if the experiences of two groups playing in the same game world can create a cogent narrative and to communicate sessions between groups.Spoilers, such as enemy types, are included but really shouldn't be relied on in your games as I'm not tracking the game while we are playing and specifics can diverge from what happened for narrative reasons. The first session report of the series is here:Scenario 1]Current Partyo Ana-Ishi, Savvas Craghearto Lenka, Orchid Spellweavero Gaius Stoneheart, Inox Bruteo Gizmo, Quatryl TinkererThe Void Travelers didn’t bother to return to Gloomhaven after defeating Jekserah. Normally quiet and taciturn, Ana-Ishi had morphed into something possessed. He kept the axe he had found on him at all times. Sometimes paying more attention to it than where they were going. Driven by the feeling that his quest was nearing an end, he set a furious pace that was only slowed by the fact that Gizmo, not he, had the map they had taken from Jekserah. And only Gizmo could interpret it. As they entered the moss-drenched depths of the Daggerwood Forest, they all shivered as their minds recalled the last time they had been there. They had been on Jekserah’s errand that time and had unwittingly killed many innocents. The tightly grown trees made finding a path difficult and the crypt they were looking for was not near a known road. They found the crypt sitting in a clearing. The entrance was a hole in a mound of dirt that led down. The dark energy emanating from the hole even dimmed the sunlight that shone on them. That this was a place of intense evil was certain, but what kind of evil lurked in those shadows was unknown. There were no tracks discernable outside so there was nothing to do but enter in. A rickety set of stairs led downwards into the dark. At the bottom, they found a torch guttering on the w[...]

Session: Mega Civilization:: Six Player - Western Map

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 16:28:10 +0000

by autumnweave This was a 6 player game using the Western board and the basic AST. The game took 9 hours, or 1.5 hours per player. Most players had played the game 2 or 3 times. Iberia had played online several times.With six players we had Rome (John), Iberia (Kenny), Carthage (Nate), Greece (Ben), Minoa (Mike) and Hatti (Dan). I think that our general consensus with 6 or 7 players is that Minoa is the hardest position to play, and Greece has the best position. The Minoan player also had slightly less experience than other players. Greece seemed to have a lot of fertile land, so they didn’t need agriculture.Initial Positioning StrategyIn the opening rounds Carthage moved aggressively into Sicily. Iberia sensing an opening used this opportunity to move into NW Africa. Greece moved south aggressively and the Hittites moved West using boats to take Cypress. The Minoans got Rhodes and Thera and Southern Greece.Development StrategyThe technology development by players seemed mostly focused on acquiring technologies to mitigate catastrophes. The last two turns were mostly buying whatever technologies where available for scoring points. The tracks that got the most attention were primarily the orange and blue tracks mostly due to their mitigation effects. Nobody spent a lot of time focused on the green, yellow or red technologies. Carthage and the Hittites both developed a wonder around midgame to 2/3 of the way through the game which was nice, but not game changing. Iberia and Greece both purchased Rhetoric which allowed them to purchase additional ‘3’ level trade cards every turn which seemed very effective. Greece and Iberia finished the game with the top two scores.Requisite WhiningAs the Hittites i I was doing fairly well until midgame when I reached for 8 cities for the first time. I was about even with everyone else. I think that everyone was at 6 to 8[...]

Session: In Tenebris Lux:: Solo Play Through as the Gunslinger

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 16:27:35 +0000

by rroby My first time documenting a play through. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed playing it. I’ve heard tale of a catacomb nearby and being a fearless Gunslinger I figured I’d give it a look. So with a Shotgun and Backpack I entered the darkened entrance.As I looked around I saw another person to my south. He looks as if he’s been down here for a very long time and does seem a bit deranged (Deranged Explorer). To my north a little ways off I see what can only be the Temple do the Moon, place I am keen to checkout. However as one would expect a Cultist is present who undoubtedly make that trip interesting. No sign yet of the other two rooms I’m interested in; The Chamber of the Sun and Cloister of Stars. I suppose it was too much to expect these rooms to be so close to the entrance.Between me and one of my goals lies the Pit of the Fallen. Certainly a fate I want to avoid so meeting up with a horror here wouldn’t be good. To my east is The Depths. I can sense that this path will only add to my doom, but it may be my only path. To my west I can see nothing but darkness.Turn 1Now that I have gotten my bearings it’s time to start exploring. As my eyes adjust further I can see clearer path to the west as The Inscriptorium comes into view with the Old Knights just beyond.I decide to head into The Inscriptorium and wait here to see what is out there. The Old Knights room could leave me few options to defend my self. I’ll try the door to north now. From the darkness I can make out the House of Skulls and much to my horror A Crawling Chaos also! I’m committed to entering the room so I will have to face this horror.Before I can raise my shotgun I see Bones of the Dragon. If only I had found this earlier. I also have the feeling my Doom is approaching (rolling a 1 on the room die) and there are more horrors awaiting me in the dark.Th[...]

Session: Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition:: You Can't Keep a Good Anthropomorphic Jackal Creature Down

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 13:11:43 +0000

by Pete Walsh Just after the Christmas holiday some poor TI-addicted souls got together for a five-player game.The races shook out as follows:Jol Nar was playing his second gameNaalu was a first time playerSol another first time playerArborec was a TI3 veteranSaar (me)First round was largely uneventful. The opening objectives were "6 planets" and "spend 8 inf.". Despite taking Warfare, Saar was unable to grab six planets in Round One with only one two planet system nearby. Sol and Naalu had six planets in easy reach, but Naalu lack enough carriers to do the job and Sol chose not to build a third. Sol allowed everyone to take commodities to get the flow of trade going. With round two the Galaxy got noticeably less comfortable as the factions began finding their borders. Saar and Arborec cut a gentlemen's agreement on their border, but made no transactions. Jol Nar and Saar created a peaceful frontier and made a mutually lucrative deal - in exchange for TGs and PNs we set up a DMZ and I agreed to pop Warfare quickly enough to help Jol Nar's expansion. My prize was the Jol Nar technology PN, which enabled Saar to gain a second Yellow tech for free and Floating Factory II as my regular tech buy for the round. With everyone else expanding to grab 6 planets in their pie slices Saar made the predictable rush for MR.And so began the "Great Political Smack Down" of the Junkyard Dogs.The first revealed agenda was Public Execution. As the faction in the lead with 2 VPs at that point, it was obvious who's head was on the chopping block. So obvious that I decided to play a Rider on the outcome predicting my own execution. In exchange I got a DN, which I promptly placed at MR. Arborec also played a Rider gaining 3 CCs for predicting my Shave with the Galactic Razor.Round 3 saw a coalition emerge with the goal of preventing[...]

Session: Myth: Dark Frontier:: My first play-through of Myth: Dark Frontier

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 08:49:50 +0000

by thermogimp I was able to get the gang together and crack open the game yesterday and I want to share my first impressions in a stream-of-consciousness manner. A little background on myself: I have backed all of the Myth Kickstarters from the beginning and have a good amount of experience with the original Myth game. Many of my observations here will be in comparison to that game for those who are familiar with it.First off, the components are quite high quality. There were some minor problems with my particular copy:- One of the smaller size pupil item cards for the base game of Myth was bent around the insert. I was able to bend it back by hand and it looks no worse for ware.- Some of the minis were quite bent. I haven't tried hot water with them yet and simply used my minis from Myth, but I have no doubts that hot water will perk them right up.- The punch sheets have a plastic backing to the tokens and punching them out sometimes peeled that plastic backing off of the sheet. An X-Acto knife and some patience are highly recommended.I also noticed some printing issues as we played through the game:- The Pupil card has the incorrect icon in the bottom corner (the apprentice's icon). This is a minor oversight.- The Soldier's Fury tokens say "Rage" on the back, not "Fury." This confused me for a few moments until I could verify what they actually were.- There are many cases where the various elements of the fate dice and attributes of the characters are called out with their keywords and not icons. Without memorizing these keywords it would become a hassle to look back and forth between the reference in the rule book and the cards. This is also an issue that I have with Myth.Now, when it comes to the game, we filled the table with four players and tried to pick a balanced group of heroes. We dec[...]

Session: Dragonfire:: Derring Do, Done Dirt Cheap! (Session 0/Preview)

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 04:49:41 +0000

by Lonfiction Now that 2018 is here, it's finally time to kickoff the Dragonfire campaign I've been prepping for all holiday season. As long as at least 4 of our 6 player party are able to make it to the Hall of Heroes, we'll be swashing some buckles, routing some foes, and consuming plenty of Good Quality Rations... roughly every other Sunday till we run out of content. Why here and not a blog? Well for starters, my job--while nothing fancy--is still one that makes it generally frowned upon and a not-so-great idea to have a glaring web presence. The other reason? Mainly it's a safe bet you folks reading this particular set of threads are at least a little interested in the game. So with all that out of the way, I aim to post narrative-flavored session reports here as long as I have time and ya'll have interest. Planning to have venison chili and mead on hand to sustain the 6 of us through our kickoff session. Depending on how that goes, I'd like to run the L1 Dungeon Delve back to back with it.One other thing worth putting out there. Along with finishing touches on the A TOWER SHAPED HOLE kickoff scenario (in Files section--watch for final-ish version sometime after the live play 1/7/18) I'm also working on a "Gloomhaven-inspired" Random Encounter Table with Legacy elements! for DUNGEON DELVES (L2 and beyond) and similar adventures that are not campaign critical. I want more (non-solo) playtime and playtest before I post the particulars, but I think I have a pretty neat way to spice up such repeated scenarios. Details to follow. [...]